BAE Systems shame: defense contractor walks back part of IFE claim


PORTLAND, OREGON — In a stunning last-minute walkback as the APEX Expo ended on Thursday afternoon, BAE Systems changed its tune on precisely what is to be streamed, and to what devices, under its agreement with two Hollywood studios.

It would now appear that only one studio has approved streaming early window content to passengers’ personal entertainment devices (known as BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device) via BAE’s browser-based platform, and not two as BAE confirmed to Runway Girl Network on Wednesday.

“The second studio from which we have approval is NOT for BYOD,” BAE Systems wrote to RGN. “So we have approval for streaming to airline supplied and BYOD from one, and just airline supplied from the second. Jared [Shoemaker, director of cabin systems] was a bit unclear yesterday.”

A bit unclear is an understatement. BAE Systems was crystal clear to RGN on Wednesday that two of the ‘big six’ major studios were involved in early window streaming to passengers’ own personal entertainment devices, and indeed RGN was relentless in its pursuit for clarity after several major IFE vendors questioned the veracity of BAE’s claim. It remains unclear if BAE – a long-time defense contractor but a newcomer to IFE – has damaged its image after this week’s Expo. RGN feels compelled to take anything it says with a grain of salt henceforth.