In another positive step for in-flight entertainment options, Continental Airlines has announced it has inked a deal with LiveTV that will enable the carrier to broadcast 36 channels of live, satellite-based television programming from DirecTV plus Wi-Fi internet service during domestic flights starting January next year.

First-class customers will get free access to the satellite television service, while other passengers will have to pay a $6 fee. However, Internet access, which will include e-mail and instant messaging connectivity, will reportedly be free for all passengers. With this, Continental joins a growing list of carriers that are either planning or testing such services. LiveTV services are already being used on JetBlue, WestJet, Frontier Airlines Holdings, Virgin Blue and AirTran.