A&E Television Networks is bulking up its Internet
strategy, with plans to launch several new Web sites.
The company currently operates six sites: aande.com,
historychannel.com, biography.com, historytravel.com, historyinternational.com
A&E plans to announce a "couple of new sites"
later this month, said Todd Tarpley, who was recently promoted to vice president of its
In January, A&E registered the Web site wildlifestories.com,
which could allow the company to compete with Discovery Communications Inc. and other
content providers in the wildlife niche. But Tarpley declined to say whether it would be
one of the sites A&E will unveil.
Last week, the company launched a redesigned version of historychannel.com,
its most popular site. The History Channel Web site pulled in one-third of the 1.1 million
combined visitors that the six sites drew in January, Tarpley said.
The redesigned site includes audio and video clips for the
"This Day in History" section. It also includes new offshoots of This Day in
History, such as "This Day in Automotive History," "This Day in Civil War
History" and "This Day in Technology History."
Tarpley said the company has no plans to launch a broadband
version of its site. But A&E has licensed its one-minute This Day in History clips to
cable-modem service Road Runner and to NBC Internet Inc. (NBCi), which recently launched a
Last fall, A&E registered 50 new Web sites -- one for
every state in the country -- which would allow it to launch local history sites such as mississippihistory.com.
Tarpley said the company has no firm time line for rolling
out the local history sites, but they would expand from the company's historytravel.com
site. Aimed at travelers, the local Web sites would offer surfers content about local
historical sites and other information, he added.
A&E generates 75 percent of its online revenue from
electronic commerce, selling everything from T-shirts to nautical telescopes. The
remaining revenue comes from advertising, Tarpley said.
The company expects e-commerce to continue to drive most of
the revenue for its sites, he added.