Travel channel on the move

GlassBOX Television has agreed to acquire travel + escape from CTV. The deal for the Category 1 specialty remains subject to CRTC approval.

With the mixed media company already holding the papers for a travel channel – Trek TV – GlassBOX co-CEO Raja Khanna says it came down to the ‘build versus buy question’ and, in the end, it made more sense to make a play for the only other travel brand around. Khanna says negotiations with CTV began last fall, though terms of the deal have not been announced.

The travel outlet is a logical addition to the GlassBOX offering, which is built around three main tentpoles that lend themselves to 18-49-targeted, multiplatform content: music, comedy and travel. (A forth for the company could be considered women’s lifestyle – with a license for a Category 2 offering, Curv TV, already approved.)

With Canadians already culturally disposed to world travel, Khanna believes an audience will naturally gravitate to a multi-platform offering that can entertain and educate. That plays into the company’s goals of ‘building communities around genres of content.’

Khanna observes that before CRTC approval is given, it is presumptuous to talk strategy, but he says to fit in with the media company’s other offerings the channel would have to shift to be ‘more online and mobile driven.’

He also believes travel + escape makes GlassBOX more attractive to advertisers as a whole, as the addition of another 18-49-targeted brand gives the media company wider reach and a greater scale. Khanna notes that GlassBOX can offer marketers everything from in-house ‘social ninjas’ who work the social media outlets, to branded content, to more traditional advertising offerings.