Thomas Cook is to launch a branded digital satellite travel channel, called Thomas Cook TV, to take on established channels such as TV Travel Shop.
The company is finalising a deal with a digital satellite platform provider for a December debut. Initially, the channel will be free and Thomas Cook expects to roll out the channel to cable and digital terrestrial platforms within 18 months.
An ad campaign is being put together to promote the channel, with details to be announced shortly.
Thomas Cook TV is intended to drive increased sales through the company’s shops, call centres and website. It will run 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will feature content from the full range of tour operators sold by the company.
This will include JMC Holidays, Neilson and Club 18-30, as well as holidays from Accoladia – the joint venture between Thomas Cook Holidays and British Airways Hotels.
Other travel-related information including insurance, car hire and foreign exchange will be covered. The channel will also provide sponsorship and advertising opportunities for third-party travel operators and travel-related products.
The creation and day-to-day running of the channel will be handled by digital TV specialist Enteraction TV’s 40-strong production team, responsible for satellite launches such as Channel Health.
Thomas Cook chief executive Alan Stewart says: “We see broadcast TV as being an important sales and marketing tool, as well as giving us an opportunity to stimulate public interest in going on holiday and send customers into our shops, onto thomascook.com or to ring our call centres.”