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Shop At Home, We Hardly Knew Ye

31 May, 2006 Response This Week


CINCINNATI – E.W. Scripps Co., the media giant parent company of such cable networks as Food Network and HGTV, announces it will shutter the money-leaking Shop At Home television network and its Web site, shopathometv.com, by the end of June. Shop At Home is the nation’s No. 4 TV shopping network, but its sales figures and market share have been foundering behind leaders QVC, HSN and Shop NBC.

The Nashville-based network reaches 57 million cable and satellite households and employs more than 650 people. According to a Scripps statement, the company cites continuing losses and the inability to find an appropriate buyer for the network for its decision. Shop At Home TV programming and its Web site will cease operations on June 22, but the company will remain in business through June 30 to ensure all customers receive their purchased items.

The network posted revenue of $84.4 million in the first quarter of 2006, a 17-percent drop from the preceding year. Shop At Home also lost $10.4 million in the first quarter.

In 2002, Scripps paid $49.5 million for a 70-percent share in Shop At Home and acquired complete control in 2004, completing a total $285 million transaction that included the cable network, its online capabilities and five Shop At Home-affiliated broadcast stations around the United States. Those stations are located in San Francisco, Boston, Cleveland, Raleigh-Durham, N.C., and Bridgeport, Conn. They will remain on-air with programming to be determined while Scripps looks for a buyer.

Scripps suffered more than $80 million in losses during its stewardship of the TV retailer. Kenneth Lowe, Scripps’ president and CEO, tells the Associated Press, “This is not the outcome we had hoped for when we acquired Shop At Home nearly four years ago.”


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