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Updated: Travel Channel Site Makeover Adds Video

Travel Channel, now managed by majority owner Scripps Networks Interactive, has relaunched the Web site Travelchannel.com with a new video player and a deep library of travel video, itineraries and destination guides, created for the site.

The site has improved navigation, new content from Travel Channel's series such as Anthony Bourdain No Reservations and Man v. Food (including vlog posts from host Adam Richman) and thousands of video clips overall. Mapped itineraries accompany features about Travel Channel episodes, such as Bourdain's trip to Panama during Monday night's episode: the relaunch was timed to coincide with the start of Bourdain's new season, according to Ayaz Nanji, the network's senior director of interactive. The show's next episode is in Istanbul (Jan. 18). 

The player opens up to display full-screen, high-quality video, something the site couldn't do before, Nanji said. He the site switched to Comcast-owned ThePlatform's video player from Brightcove in the relaunch, which has enabled the channel to syndicate videos for free to social media sites and for pay to other sites.

Usability was "a big focus" for the channel in the redesign, he said, as were adding numerous travel features related to trips by, for example, Bourdain to Vietnam.

"We're essentially taking our on air episodes and making them into online travelogues," Nanji said.

A new online TV schedule also makes it easier to find the channel's programming. The site also added new higher value ad units and built-in sponsorships on every module of the site, something advertisers wanted, he said.

A video about the site's new features is here.

In December, Scripps closed a $1 billion deal to buy 65% of the network from Cox Communications, which retained 35%. The network has had 16 consecutive months of ratings growth, according to acting general manager Jonathan Sichel. (Scripps's title was corrected in this story on Jan. 13.)