A&E Teams Up on Vacations


A&E Television Networks will use the Internet to offer consumers
vacations inspired by its programming through a multiyear agreement inked with
GeoPassage Corp. and Collette Vacations.

The trips will be available from the new A&E Travel Web site, which
should be operational by mid-April, AETN consumer-products division director of
licensing Carrie Trimmer said.

On the Web site, users will find plugs for trips to Antarctica and nearby
Argentina and Chile, which are related to locales in A&E Network's
Shackleton miniseries(April 7 and 8).

Although AETN has dabbled in travel offerings through various providers --
such as last year's partnership between The History Channel and Far&Wide
Travel Corp. for Historic Journeys -- this is the programmer's first
comprehensive, multiplatform agreement, Trimmer said.

Upcoming vacation packages will be broader in scope than the prior ones
pegged solely to History, she added.

GeoPassage and Collette will handle the fulfillment end of AETN viewers'
travel arrangements. AETN will receive an unspecified percentage of the revenues
generated, according to Trimmer.

At the outset, the travel site will be backed by ads in Biography
magazine. Full-fledged on-air promotion and other marketing support should
follow in June, including program-related signage for A&E Travel at travel
agencies and airports, she said.

As to whether AETN or its partners might produce long-form programming, or
infomercials touting the travel service, Trimmer said, 'That's still to be
determined. We'll take baby steps first.'