Archive for the ‘John Malone’ Category

Comcast, Past Owner Of QVC, Now Owns 17 Percent Of ShopNBC

February 8, 2011

Comcast, the Philadelphia cable cabal, is back in the home shopping business.

Comcast, which once owned QVC, now holds a roughly 17 percent stake in ShopNBC, as a result of its acquisition of NBC Universal, according to a filing the media giant made Monday with the Securities and Exchange Conmmission.

ValueVision Media, ShopNBC’s corporate name, had 37.7 million shares outstanding as of Jan. 5. NBCU, now part of Comcast, owns 6.4 million, or 17 percent, of those shares. Comcast/NBCU will be getting an additional 1 million shares in May as part of a licensing agreement that permits ShopNBC to continue using “NBC” in its name.

And 10 percent of ShopNBC’s common stock is owned by management.

QVC, once of Comcast CEO Brian Robert’s favorite assets, is now owned by cable cowboy John Malone’s Liberty Media.

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Dig These QVC Parent Liberty Media Dentures, Whoops We Mean Debentures

January 18, 2011

For those who think that our home-shopping coverage is frivolous, here’s some real financial news. But you have to be a CFO to figure it out.

QVC’s parent, cable cowboy John Malone’s Liberty Media, Tuesday announced a semi-annual payment to the holders of its 3.5 percent senior exchangeable debentures due in 2031. The amount of the payment is $17.50 per $1,000 of original principal amount of the debentures.

This semi-annual payment will result in the further reduction of the adjusted principal amount of the debentures. As previously announced, the principal amount of the debentures was reduced in the amount of $162.616 per debenture, resulting in an adjusted principal amount equal to $837.384 per debenture.

This adjustment resulted from an extraordinary distribution of cash that was paid to bondholders on January 10, 2007 in accordance with the indenture governing the debentures.

This extraordinary distribution arose from Freescale Semiconductor’s merger with an entity controlled by a consortium of private equity firms in exchange for cash.

At that time, Liberty announced that, in accordance with the indenture, the adjusted principal amount of the debentures would be further reduced on each successive semi-annual interest payment date to the extent necessary to cause the semi-annual payment on that date to represent the payment by Liberty, in arrears, of an annualized yield of 3.5 percent of the adjusted principal amount of the debentures.

The adjustments described above will not affect the amount of the semi-annual payments received by holders of the debentures, which will continue to be a rate equal to 3.5 per cent per annum of the original principal amount of the debentures.

The semi-annual interest payment and additional distribution are expected to be made on Jan. 18, 2011 to holders of record of the debentures Jan. 1, 2011.

Home Shopping Network QVC’s Revenue Increased 7 Percent, To $1.2 Billion, In Third Quarter

November 5, 2010

QVC’s domestic revenue rose 7 percent in the third quarter, to $1.2 billion, as its product mix continued to show steady growth in accessories, apparel and home and a decline in jewelry sales, the home shopping network’s parent reported Friday.

“We continue to leverage our programming assets through the launch of second channels in both Germany and the UK and the iPad app in the US,” QVC president and CEO Mike George said in a prepared statement. “Our pop-up store and studio in Rockefeller Center for Fashion’s Night Out generated positive press attention but more importantly engaged our customers through our live broadcasts, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and QVC.com.”

Earlier in the week HSN posted a 6 percent gain in third-quarter sales.

QVC’s domestic adjusted OIBDA increased 8 percent to $261 million compared to the third quarter 2009, according to its parent, John Malone’s Liberty Media Corp. The average selling price increased 2 percent from $47.52 to $48.30 while total units sold increased 5 percent to 26.2 million.

Returns as a percent of gross product revenue decreased from 19.3 percent to 18.8 percent. QVC.com sales as a percentage of omestic sales grew from 28 percent in the third quarter last year to 31 percent this year.

The domestic adjusted OIBDA margin increased 22 basis points to 22.4 percent for the quarter primarily due to a lower inventory obsolescence provision as well as more efficient customer service operations partially offset by increased fixed costs primarily due to the non-recurrence of favorable franchise and sales tax audit settlements recorded in the prior-year period.

Overall, the domestic adjusted OIBDA results were negatively impacted by $5 million due to QVC’s new credit card agreement with GE Money Bank, which was effective Aug. 2. QVC entered into a new agreement with GE Money Bank, who provides revolving credit directly to QVC customers solely for the purchase of merchandise from QVC. Under the new agreement QVC receives a portion of the economics from the credit card program according to percentages that vary with the performance of the portfolio.

QVC also recovered its noninterest bearing cash deposit maintained in connection with the prior arrangement in the amount of $501 million. During the third quarter, QVC entered into a new bank credit agreement which provides for a $2 billion revolving credit facility and reduced bank borrowings by $745 million, lowering QVC’s leverage ratio below 2:1.

QVC’s consolidated revenue, which includes domestic and international sales, increased 7 percent in the third quarter to $1.8 billion; adjusted OIBDA increased 8 percent to $369 million and operating income increased 13 percent to $235 million.

“Every QVC market generated strong revenue growth in local currency, increased adjusted OIBDA margins and attracted more new customers in the third quarter,” George said. “Our consolidated adjusted OIBDA margin, excluding our start-up operations related to Italy and the negative impact of our new QCard arrangement, improved 105 basis points from a strong adjusted OIBDA margin last year. QVC expanded its global footprint through the successful launch of QVC Italy on October 1st.”

QVC’s international revenue increased 6 percent in the third quarter to $604 million from $569 million including the impact of unfavorable exchange rates in the United Kingdom and Germany and favorable exchange rates in Japan.

International adjusted OIBDA increased 9 percetn to $108 million and adjusted OIBDA margin increased 48 basis points for the quarter. The increase in the adjusted OIBDA margin was primarily due to the increased gross product margin in Germany, partially offset by $9 million of costs related to the Oct. 1 launch of QVC Italy service.

Excluding the effect of exchange rates, QVC’s international revenue and adjusted OIBDA both grew 8 percent. International djusted OIBDA increased 17 percent, excluding the effect of exchange rates and start up costs related to QVC Italy.

It’s A Tough Job, But Someone From QVC Parent Liberty Media Has To Go To Newport Beach

September 8, 2010

Bring your surfboard to Newport, John

Liberty Media Corp. chairman and one-time cable cowboy John Malone will be presenting at the 2010 Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference next Wednesday at noon at the Island Hotel Newport Beach in California, the company said Wednesday.

During his presentation, Malone may make observations regarding the company’s financial performance and outlook and may discuss the previously announced split-off of the Liberty Capital and Liberty Starz tracking stock groups.

The presentation will be broadcast live via the Internet. All interested persons should visit the Liberty Media website at http://www.libertymedia.com/events to register for the webcast. An archive of the webcast will also be available on this website for 30 days

Will NBCU’s Plans To Keep Its ShopNBC Stake Derail Any Sale Of The Home Shopping Network?

June 24, 2010

What's Keith Stewart got cooking at ShopNBC?

ShopNBC was put up for sale in 2008, and then was taken off the block a few months later. Well, we heard it’s for sale again.

ShopNBC declined to comment, by the way.

There’s been a lot of talk about possible home-shopping-network sales this week, so we’ll add this to the mix.

The ShopNBC-sale scenario we had heard about would potentially have been made easier because of NBC Universal’s plans, announced in May, to sell its 20 percent stake in the home shopping network. But on Thursday NBCU threw a monkey wrench into that possibility. Citing ShopNBC’s low stock price, NBCU announced that it wasn’t going to unload its share in the network.

Wall Street Journal blogger James Altucher was bullish on ValueVision Media, ShopNBC’s corporate parent, in a blog earlier this week. The home shopping network has 75 million subscribers, and Altucher values it at $270 million to $300 million in his blog.

He bases that price on payment of $3.92 per subscriber, which he says is “the cheapest price paid for any network on a subscriber by subscriber basis” in the past.

Altchuler, who says that Barry Diller unsucessfully bid on ShopNBC twice, has the inside dope on the initial attempt to sell ShopNBC. ValueVision shopped the network to more than 100 companies. It wound up with four serious suitors, two of them strategic buyers and two financial sponsors, according to Altuchuler. But a deal was never struck

“I think the clearing of the NBC Universal stake finally bring buyers into the loop here,” Altchuler wrote.

Well, that’s off the table now.

There’s been a lot of buzz on Wall Street about home shopping networks this week, following news that Liberyr Media Corp. was spinning off two companies to leave Liberty Interactive, which QVC is part of, as essentially a standalone company. That fueled speculation that this move by cable legend-cowboy-God John Malone was a prelude to merging QVC and HSN.

We’ll see about that one.

ShopNBC chief Keith Stewart has said that with NBCU selling its take in the home shopping network, ShopNBC will rebrand itself next year. The network has been working for months on coming up with a new name, according to Stewart.

Would you go through that trouble if you were selling your network? Or is it an attempt to dress up the property to attract suitors?

We haven't seen too much of Suzanne Somers on ShopNBC

Meanwhile, people familiar with the situation say that ShopNBC’s infrastructure, like its call centers, are not big enough to support the network.

As one sign of the times, ShopNBC is ordering a just a fraction of the amount of merchandise a month from vendor Suzanne Somers that HSN used to order, according to sources. In fact, although Somers initially said she would be on ShopNBC once a month, her visits have been much less frequent.

And we’re told some apparel vendors have to carry orders, meaning if their merchandise doesn’t sell ShopNBC can return it to them.

We wonder if they can only return it within 30 days?

Perish The Thought: Is Cable King John Malone Looking To Merge QVC And HSN?

June 22, 2010

Mr. Malone, your highness, please don't merge QVC and HSN

Well kiddies, is QVC really looking to buy HSN? Que horror! That’s the New York Post’s take on Liberty Media’s announcement Monday that it plans to spin off two of its companies, Liberty Capital and Liberty Starz. That leaves Liberty Media with its Liberty Interactive unit, which includes QVC, as “an asset-based stock,” Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei said in a prepared statement.

You can read the boring details of the news here. Thank God we’re not at a trade paper anymore where we have to write that boring financial crap.

Because cable cowboy and legend John Malone is chairman of Liberty Media, anytime the company burps the press is on it like flies on dog doo. So Monday’s announcement got lots of ink. And the cable industry fawns over Malone and thinks he walks on water.

The interesting angle here is whether this complex financial transaction and spin-off is a prelude to Liberty Media, which already owns 35 percent of HSN, trying to acquire the rest of the Southern Channel. Or maybe Liberty Media will go after struggling ShopNBC, which is rumored to be up for sale. After all, NBC Universal is dumping its stake in the ShopNBC, No. 3 home shopping net.

We know one thing, which is that home shopping aficionados wouldn’t welcome a merger of QVC and HSN. Many fans buy from both networks, and like having selections from two channels. People who don’t watch QVC or HSN may think they are the same, but the networks have distinct visions and are quite different.

Since we are jewelry addicts, we love HSN and its willingness to mark down items. We also like what HSN CEO Mindy Grossman is doing to the network, bringing in top name designers such as Badgley Mischka.

As for QVC, we enjoy (or used to, before layoff) its Affinity Diamonds and Artisan Crafted jewelry.

And we want our Colleen Lopez on HSN and our Rick Domeier on QVC, please.

The Post’s Claire Atkinson, a vet of our former sister publication, B&C, plays up the QVC-HSN merger angle in her story. The New York Times even picked up her article.

The Post story in the newspaper has one of those great Post photoshop graphics: Malone’s head superimposed on the body of a guy wearing a Liberty sweat shirt, standing in front of the company’s headquarters in Colorado carrying two shopping bags: One says QVC and the other says HSN.

Atkinson writes that “speculation” is that Liberty is seriously going after HSN. That’s a much sexier story than writing what Maffei actually said on a conference call yesterday, which is that Liberty is not pursuing HSN.

“The market doesn’t believe us; watch August come and go,” Maffei said. “There’s no plan or intention to do anything other than to keep our options open.”

Our former colleague at Multichannel News, Mike Farrell, wrote about Maffei’s denial of the HSN rumors. According to Mike, while the new Liberty Interactive structure makes it easier for the company to go on a buying binge, Maffei said HSN is not a target right now.

“We’re certainly not going to chase HSN stock,” Mike quoted Maffei as saying.

Malone tried, and failed, to merge QVC and HSN back in 2007.

If he’s got any sneaky plans to go after HSN again, we hope he fails this time, too.

And liar, liar pants on fire if Maffei’s denials turn out not to be true.

Why No Mention, Or Questions About, The Louis Dell’Olio Brouhaha On QVC Parent’s First-Quarter Call?

May 7, 2010

QVC president and CEO Mike George

Well, we just listened to the Liberty Media first-quarter earnings call, since it is the parent of QVC. We were hoping — silly gooses that we are — that the battle over the demise, and resurrection, of Louis Dell’Olio’s Linea line would be mentioned.

Why? Even though Dell’Olio’s QVC fans were livid that the home shopping channel was going to dump his line, their reaction demonstrated how dedicated and passionate customers are about the brand.

Let’s face it, if some other people heard that a clothing line they liked was being discontinued on QVC, they might not be happy. But they would not mount a campaign — with letters and phone calls to Liberty chairman John Malone, Liberty CEO Greg Maffei and QVC president Mike George — to lobby for that desiigner to be kept on.

Dell’Olio’s ladies fought for him, and as a result not only will his clothing line remain on the home shopping channel, he is even expanding with a jewelry line.

We guess these hot shot Wall Street analysts don’t read The Homeshoppingista, so they were oblivious to the brouhaha and didn’t ask about it. And maybe Malone, Maffei and George are still pissed off about those Linea Ladies calls, even though they capitulated.

But we think the flap presented a PR opportunity. Liberty and QVC could have spun the story, noting how passionate the home shopping network’s customers are, and how QVC actualy listens to its loyal customer base.

Any way, there was nothing that fresh and exciting on the call. Earlier today, Friday, Liberty reported that domestic QVC saw a 10 percent jump in revenue, to $1.2 billion, in the first quarter. QVC also saw its adjusted OIBDA increase 19 percent to $261 million compared to the year-ago quarter.

The network’s product mix continued to shift from the jewelry and apparel to accessories and home.

In the first three months both QVC and competitor HSN saw roughly the same sales growth. On Tuesday, HSN reported that its first-quarter sales had increased, up 9 percent, to $518.9 million.

On the analysts’ call, George said that QVC’s HD channel is now in 32 million homes. The number of new customers was up 15 percent, with revenue from new customers increasing 26 percent.

Designer Dell’Olio Says ‘Open Issues’ Need To Be Settled For His Collection To Stay On QVC

April 23, 2010

Fashion designer Louis Dell’Olio met with QVC officials Thursday to discuss the future of his clothing line, but said that there are still issues that need to be resolved in order for his collection to continue to be sold on the home shopping channel.

On his blog, Dell’Olio left a somewhat cryptic blog about what happened Thursday.

Here it is:

My dear friends.

First, I must thank you for all of the support and love you have shown Jac and myself. If it weren’t for all of you, this meeting would have never taken place. Jac came with me to the city for moral support. I also went into the meeting with all of your suggestions and good wishes.

I am pleased to be able to report to you that I met with the QVC representatives in New York City at the Linea offices, to discuss the future of the Linea/QVC relationship. The meeting was a positive one, but there are certain important matters yet to be agreed upon. It is my hope that this can be accomplished quickly and satisfactorily.

 I will be able to continue to provide you with my Linea collection through QVC. I will report back to you as soon as the open issues are resolved.

Blinddogs, if and when this should happen, I need to know which green you want matched….an A# would help!!!!!! All my LOVE….and a big THANK YOU……………Louis

Dell’Olio’s QVC fans, who call themselves the Linea Ladies, mounted a campaign to keep the designer on QVC when they heard the network planned to dump his Linea line in the fall. They phoned the offices of QVC president Mike George and John Malone, the chairman of QVC parent LIbery Media, and sent letters to the companies.

On the heels of that campaign, where the Linea Ladies threatened to boycott QVC, the home shopping channel asked to meet with the designer to talk about the future his QVC collection. That’s the meeting that took place.

Here’s hoping that Dell’Olio irons out any “issues” with QVC, because we like his clothes, too.

Hot Flash: Designer Louis Dell’Olio Meets Thursday With QVC Officials About The Future Of His Clothing Line

April 20, 2010

It looks like the QVC customer campaign to keep designer Louis Dell’Olio on the home shopping network may be working.

On Monday Dell’Olio wrote on his blog that he has a meeting set for Thursday with the honchos at QVC.

Here is his post:

My Dear Friends,

As of this posting, my “discussion” with QVC regarding Linea’s future will take place this Thursday afternoon. I want you all to know that I am taking all of your thoughts, suggestions and ideas with me. I have continually read all of your postings and can’t thank you enough for your untiring support and guidance. You have aided me in focusing on what is most important for Linea. You are one strong, intelligent group of women. It is an honor to know you. Obviously, you a force to be reckoned with……….always, with Love……..Louis

As we’ve said before, campaigns by fans — and threatened boycotts — to keep a cancelled TV show on the air, for example, only rarely work.

But it looks like all the irate phone calls that Dell’Olio’s “Linea Ladies” made last week and Monday to QVC president Mike George and the honchos at QVC’s parent Liberty Media, John Malone and Greg Maffei, may be working. These ladies were threatening to boycott QVC and take their disposable income elsewhere.

Last week Dell’Olio, who just celebrated his 10th anniversary on QVC, wrote in his blog that the home shopping channel had informed him it wasn’t placing any new orders or reorders for his Linea line come the fall.

Liberty Media Says It’s QVC’s Decision Whether Or Not to Drop Designer Louis Dell’Olio’s Line

April 19, 2010

John Malone

Monday morning fashion designer Louis Dell’Olio’s QVC fans decided to protest his possible exit by calling John Malone’s office at Liberty Media. Liberty owns QVC, and cable legend Malone is chairman. The guy who really runs that show on a day-to-day basis, however, is Liberty president Greg Maffei. Malone is more a big-picture guy.

Anyway, we decided to give Liberty’s PR department out in Denver a call Monday afternoon to find out how many calls they had received, etc. We also checked in with QVC, to find out of president Mike George’s phone was ringing off the hook.

At Liberty, corporate spokeswoman Courtnee Ulrich told us they have been getting calls from Dell’Olio’s fans, who have named themselves Linea Ladies, after the name of his QVC collection. She didn’t have a count as to how many calls Liberty had fielded about Dell’Olio, but she said, “We forward everything along to QVC.”

The hubbub started last week when Dell’Olio revealed on his blog that QVC had informed him it would stop ordering his line in the fall. His loyal QVC fans, who love his beautifully tailored classic clothes, sprang into action, coming up with a campaing to pressure QVC to keep Dell’OLio on.

That strategy included phone calls and letters to QVC president Mike George, as well as Malone and Maffei.

“We appreciate the feedback that we’re getting from customers,” Liberty’s Ulrich said. “But it’s an operating decision, so any changes will be coming out of QVC.”

That means it is QVC’s decision to make.

There is some hope for Dell’Olio’s QVC line. He blogged Friday that he had been contacted by QVC folks, and they want to sit down with him and discuss the future of his collection. That means there may be actually be a future for the designer beyond this fall at the Q.

When we checked in with QVC, spokeswoman Erin Mulholland was cordial, but close-mouthed. She wouldn’t comment on how many calls George had received, or about QVC possilby reconsidering its decision to drop Dell’Olio.

For those interested, Liberty will report its first-quarter earnings May 7 at noon (ET). Maffei will host the call, and QVC’s George ususally speaks, as well.

Replays of the conference call can be accessed through 3:00 p.m. (ET) May 14 by dialing (719) 457-0820 or (888) 203-1112 plus the pass code 5583834#.

Just for your information, the first-quarter earnings conference call will also be broadcast live via the Internet. All interested participants should go to Liberty’s website at http://www.libertymedia.com/events to register for the web cast.

Replays of the call will also be available on the Liberty Media website. The conference call and related materials will be archived there for one year.

But maybe this Dell’OLio mess will have been solved by then.