ITV and Channel 4 have been given the go-ahead to combine their late
night advertising minutage, creating the opportunity for home shopping
services to challenge QVC, which currently dominates the market.
Channel 5 will be able to run a home shopping service when it begins
broadcasting, and the ITV stations could bundle up their advertising
minutage between midnight and 6am.
The stations could use the combined slot for a 42-minute home shopping
service. The move, introduced by the Independent Television Commission,
will pave the way for longer DRTV programming. Carlton has already
introduced TV brochures in which 12-minute information packages are
shown during the morning. The longer slots may encourage TV stations to
open up home shopping to advertisers, taking on cable and satellite
services. TV ads can run for a maximum of 12 minutes under an EU
An ITC spokesman said the decision came after Iain Sproat, Department of
National Heritage minister, said it should be made easier for
terrestrial TV stations to broadcast home shopping ads.
Home Shopping list
* QVC, the UK’s 24-hour home shopping channel, had net sales of pounds
45m in 1995, three times the figure for 1994.
* TV home shopping in the US accounts for sales of dollars 4 bn,
equivalent to 0.2% of all retail.
* The Broadcasting Bill introduced measures to allow a home shopping
service on ITV.
* Informercial sales in Europe have risen to pounds 125m from nothing in
just five years.