THIS WEEK: TV stations open up shop

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.

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

directive.



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.



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