The Travel Channel was originated on February 1, 1987; it was co-founded by Trans World Airlines and Viacom Media Networks, likely to boost airline patronage. The channel’s name was obtained from the travel-related filler programming that broadcasted between programs on the Home Theater Network. TWA acquired the name rights from Group W Satellite Communications in 1986 and took over HTN’s transponder place following the shutdown of the premium cable channel in January 1987. In 1997 the network was later sold to Landmark Communications, the owner of The Weather Channel, and finally to Paxson Communications.
Discovery Communications obtained a 70% ownership stake in the channel in 1997 and finally received the remaining 30% interest from Paxson in 1999. In May 2007, Discovery Communications sold Travel Channel to Cox Enterprises subsidiary Cox Communications as part of a more massive multibillion-dollar deal.