Digital Booking Sites

Germany’s Largest TV Network Acquires Booking Site Weg.de

@denschaal

Dec 09, 2013 11:20 am

Skift Take

TV and travel technology companies have long looked to the day when people would be booking travel from their TV remote controls, and now the advent of Web-based smart TVs could accelerate innovation. Still, the marriage of TV, on the one hand, and trip planning and booking, on the other, has yet to be consummated. ProSiebenSat.1 and Lonely Planet are among companies giving it a try.

— Dennis Schaal

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The venture arm of Germany’s largest TV network, ProSiebenSat.1, has acquired Comvel GmbH, which operates two Munich-based online travel agencies, weg.de and ferien.de.

Seven Ventures’ acquisition of Comvel is subject to regulatory approval. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

ProSiebenSat.1 already owns travel and related portals, including Tropo, Wetter.com, Billiger-Mietwagen, MyDays, Holiday-Insider and Reise.com, and its articulated strategy has parallels to NC2 Media’s acquisition of Lonely PlanetĀ from the BBC in March.

“Travel brands are practically made for TV, as a highly visual and emotional medium, and therefore they represent a special point of emphasis for our e-commerce strategy,” said Christian Wegner, a board member of ProSiebenSat.1.

“Both portals [Weg.de and Ferien.de] complement our travel portfolio ideally,” Wegner said. “Together with our other Internet investments, including the dynamic travel provider Tropo, as well as Wetter.com, Billiger-Mietwagen, MyDays, Holiday-Insider and Reise.com, we can serve any and needs of people planning their vacations.”

Lonely Planet’s owners, too, have been busy buying up TV related assets and see it as a natural fit with travel content.

Of course, Lonely Planet’s and ProSiebenSat.1′s strategies diverge as Lonely Planet is a content site while ProSiebenSat.1 now has a portfolio of travel booking sites and is rolling up these assets.

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