Posts Tagged ‘Liberty Media’

We Told You So: Upscale John Hardy Is Doing A Jewelry Line For QVC

September 5, 2011

High-end jewelry designer John Hardy is coming to QVC after all, with a line that’s supposed to debut at Fashion Night Out this Thursday.

He’s just the latest in a series of upscale jewelry vendors, such as Robert Lee Morris, Stephen Dweck and Judith Ripka, to hop on the home-shopping bandwagon.

We broke this story more than a year ago, and then were told that the item was not true. Even though we’ve worked as a writer for decades, we still hate when people lie to us.

So we’d like to work one of our deceased nana’s Puerto Rican espiritismo spells on the execs over at John Hardy and QVC.

In February 2010 we posted an item saying that John Hardy, whose wares are sold in places like Neiman Marcus, was creating a collection for QVC. Someone on the QVC’s forums had written that QVC host Lisa Robertson had said that during a meeting.

We had contacted QVC and John Hardy before we wrote the blog, but they didn’t immediately get back to us.

After our blog appeared, QVC’s Erin Mulholland and John Hardy’s Edith Bagda denied that any such line for QVC was planned.

https://homeshoppingista.wordpress.com/category/jewelry-designers/john-hardy/

Well, we just read the 2Q press release for QVC’s parent, Liberty Media.

“We are excited about our strong product and programming line-up for the third quarter as we expand our presence in New York’s Fashion Night Out this September with the exciting premieres of John Hardy jewelry and Heidi Klum accessories,” QVC president and CEO Mike George said in canned statement.

Liar liar, pants on fire.

Seriously, we do hope, with the help of nana Isolina, that your pants do go on fire.

Sorry We’re Late, But QVC’s Revenue Grew 3 Percent In The Second Quarter To $1.2 Billion

September 5, 2011

OK, we realize we’re a month late, but better late than never.

It appears that we simply missed or never get the press notice that announced that Liberty Media, QVC’s parent, was doing its second-quarter earnings call Aug. 9. We dunno which.

But here’s the story.

“QVC had a solid quarter, with revenue growth in all markets,” Liberty uber honcho Greg Maffei said in a canned statement. “We were impressed that Japan was back to growth so quickly after the tragedies of the spring.

QVC’s domestic revenue increased 3 percent in the second quarter to $1.2 billion and adjusted OIBDA increased 1 percent to $305 million compared to the second quarter 2010.

“We are excited about our strong product and programming line-up for the third quarter as we expand our presence in New York’s Fashion Night Out this September with the exciting premieres of John Hardy jewelry and Heidi Klum accessories,” QVC president and CEO Mike George said in canned statement.

“In addition, QVC will broadcast live, select programs from the LA Live complex, featuring a range of QVC personalities and brands, enabling us to provide a localized look and feel for our West Coast audience during their prime television viewing hours,” he said.

The product mix continued to show a steady growth in accessories, apparel and home and a decline in jewelry sales. The average selling price increased 8 percent from $48.10 to $52.02 while total units sold decreased 4 percent to 25.7 million.

Returns as a percent of gross product revenue remained relatively consistent to the prior year period at 18.5 percent.

QVC.com sales as a percentage of U.S. sales grew from 32 percent in the second quarter of 2010 to 35 percent in the second quarter of 2011. Overall, the U.S. adjusted OIBDA margin decreased 64 basis points to 24.8 percent for the quarter due to the previous disclosed change in our QCard arrangement which negatively impacted adjusted OIBDA by about $9 million.

Excluding the negative impact of this arrangement, U.S. adjusted OIBDA increased 4 percent for the second quarter with a slight increase in adjusted OIBDA margin primarily driven by favorable product margins.

QVC’s consolidated net revenue, which includes its international networks, increased 8 percent in the second quarter to $1.9 billion, adjusted OIBDA increased 4 percent to $418 million and operating income increased 4 percent to $281 million.

“We continue to build momentum even in these uncertain economic times with consolidated second quarter net revenue growth of 8 percent,” George said. “Each market experienced net revenue growth in local currency including Japan, which has rebounded nicely after the tragic events experienced in late March.”

He sent on, “Excluding our QVC Italy start up operations and the previously discussed change in our QCard program with GE Money Bank, our adjusted OIBDA growth would have been 8 percent and operating income would have been 11 percent. We continue to see strong global new customer net revenue growth and our global eCommerce revenue now represents 30 percent of our worldwide revenue.

QVC’s international revenue increased 18 percent in the second quarter to $666 million from $565 million including the impact of favorable exchange rates in each of our markets. International adjusted OIBDA increased 13 percent to $113 million and adjusted OIBDA margins decreased 73 basis points for the quarter.

QVC’s international second quarter results include $13 million of adjusted OIBDA loss compared to $5 million in the prior year related to QVC Italy operations that launched in October 2010. Excluding the effects of QVC Italy, international adjusted OIBDA and adjusted OIBDA margins would have increased 20 percent and 51 basis points, respectively, for the quarter.

QVC UK’s revenue grew 4 percent in local currency in the second quarter due primarily to increased sales in apparel and most home categories. These increases were partially offset by declines in fine jewelry.

QVC UK’s average selling price in local currency decreased 1 percent and units sold increased 5 percent for the second quarter. QVC UK’s adjusted OIBDA increased 4 percent and the adjusted OIBDA margin increased 59 basis points due primarily to a favorable inventory obsolescence provision and freight costs offset somewhat by higher distribution costs associated with the QVC Beauty Channel, QVC UK’s second channel, being launched part time on the Freeview DTT platform.

QVC Germany’s revenue grew 7 percent in local currency in the quarter driven by increased sales of apparel, jewelry, and nutrition products. QVC Germany’s average selling price in local currency increased 1 percent for the second quarter and units sold increased 11 percent.

QVC Germany’s returns as a percent of gross product revenue increased 251 basis points from the prior period due in part to a product mix shift to higher return categories including apparel and jewelry. QVC Germany’s adjusted OIBDA increased 21 percent in local currency and the adjusted OIBDA margin increased 199 basis points due to favorable product margins and inventory obsolescence.

QVC Japan’s revenue grew 1 percent in local currency in the second quarter due to increased sales primarily in apparel. QVC Japan’s market has rebounded after the tragic events experienced in March with positive year over year growth achieved in May and June.

QVC Japan achieved growth of 13 percent in units sold for the quarter with the average selling price in local currency declining 10 percent. QVC Japan’s adjusted OIBDA in local currency declined 2 percent and the adjusted OIBDA margin declined 72 basis points due to lower product margins and higher commission expense.

QVC Italy continues the trend from the first quarter – sequential sales growth following a softer than anticipated launch. These sales are primarily in the home and beauty product areas. In the quarter, QVC Italy began to invest in a strong marketing campaign to build awareness and accelerate new customer acquisition, and it plans to monitor these and other fixed costs as they grow into their cost structure.

QVC Parent Liberty Media Bids $1 Billion for Barnes & Noble

May 20, 2011

We are still having problems posting, so sorry we are late on this.

Cable cowboy John Malone often surprises Wall Street, and us, and yesterday’s news that his Liberty Media was making an offer to buy beleaguered Barnes & Noble was no exception. Liberty Media, of course, is the parent of QVC.

With the advent of e-readers, brick-and-mortar book retailers such as Barnes & Noble are in trouble. And the head of the book seller, Len Riggio, put the company on the block.

Is there synergy with QVC?

The home shopping network has the infrastrucure in place to distribute print books all over the county, like Amazon.com.

And this deal would guarantee QVC host Rick Domeier continued distribution of his inspiractional book, “Can I Have a Do-Over?”

Cable dude John Malone

Here’s last night’s press release.

Liberty Media Announces Proposal to Acquire Barnes & Noble
ENGLEWOOD, Colo., May 19, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) —

Liberty Media Corporation (Nasdaq: LCAPA, LCAPB, LINTA, LINTB, LSTZA, LSTZB) announced today that it has made a proposal to acquire Barnes & Noble Inc. for $17 per share in cash. Barnes & Noble is the established leader in bookselling and is at the forefront of the transition to digital, with a management team that has demonstrated expertise in operations and positioned the company for growth in a dynamic marketplace.

Liberty’s proposal, which contemplates that the acquisition will be structured as a merger, is subject to various conditions, including satisfactory financing and the participation of founding chairman Leonard Riggio, both in terms of his continuing equity ownership and his continuing role in management. Liberty’s equity ownership, which would be attributed to the Liberty Capital group, is expected to be approximately 70% of Barnes & Noble. Liberty expects that its cash contribution toward the purchase price, depending on the amount of financing that can be obtained, will be in the range of $500 million.

As previously announced, Liberty plans to split-off the businesses, assets and liabilities currently attributed to the Liberty Capital and Liberty Starz tracking stock groups.

QVC Posts 3 Percent Revenue Gain In First Quarter, Takes $24 Million Hit In Japan From Quake

May 6, 2011

QVC posted good first-quarter results, with its revenue rising 3 percent to $1.2 billion, the home shopping network’s parent Liberty Media reported Friday. But the company took a hit in its Japanese network because of the earthquake and tsunami.

In the United States, sales of electronics, beauty and accessories increased while jewelry sales declined.

The average selling price for QVC items in the first quarter increased 7 percent from $51.16 to $54.83, while total units sold decreased 3 percent to 24 million. Returns as a percent of gross product revenue decreased from 18.6 percent to 18.2 percent for the quarter.

QVC.com sales as a percentage of U.S. sales grew from 32 percent in the the year-ago period to 36 percent in the first quarter.

Adjusted OIBDA was relatively flat, negatively impacted by $10 million for the quarter due to the change in terms of QVC’s arrangement with GE Money Bank for its QCard that was effective in August 2010 as previously disclosed.

Excluding the negative impact of this arrangement, U.S. adjusted OIBDA increased 3 percent for the first quarter. The U.S. adjusted OIBDA margin decreased 77 basis points to 21.8 percent for the quarter primarily due to the previously disclosed change in our QCard arrangement and a decrease in initial margins due to growth in electronics.

QVC’s consolidated revenue, which includes its international channels, increased 4 percent in the first quarter to $1.8 billion and adjusted OIBDA decreased less than 1 percent to $363 million.

Here is QVC president and CEO Mike George’s canned statement:

QVC drove solid revenue growth of 4 percent against a challenging prior year comparison. While our consolidated adjusted OIBDA declined slightly from the prior year, this was driven by three extraordinary events: our Italy start-up, the change in our QCard program with GE Money Bank and the impact of the tragedies in Japan.

In the U.S., our 3 percent revenue growth in the first quarter contributed to a 14 percent two-year growth rate, placing us among the faster-growing large retailers in the U.S.

Exceptional revenue growth from new customers and eCommerce, inclusive of mobile, in the U.S., Germany and the UK, are the leading factors in this quarter’s performance. We are committed to creating highly immersive shopping experiences with differentiated products, engaging personalities, high levels of community involvement and simultaneous engagement over multiple platforms – an experience that cannot be replicated by either store based or Internet retailers.

A perfect example of this was March’s Red Carpet event celebrating the Oscars, where we engaged our customer over multiple platforms through the creation of behind the scenes video blogs, contests on Facebook and QVC.com and live streaming tweets.”

The March 11 earthquake and related disasters in Japan put QVC Japan off-the-air for 12 days. The distribution center suffered moderate damage. QVC maintains insurance coverage for property damage and certain business interruption circumstances, subject to roughly $12 million deductible.

QVC has not yet determined the complete financial impact of the property damage, the impact to its future operations or the value, if any, of a related insurance claim. Due to the nature of the events that caused QVC Japan to suspend its operations for a time in March, QVC estimates that about $24 million in revenue was lost based on prior-year revenue during the same period.

Since QVC Japan has resumed its broadcast, sales have been running about 10 percent below prior year sales, due to the disruption in the country.

“We cannot determine at this time when QVC Japan will return to sales levels we were experiencing before the earthquake and related disasters in Japan,” QVC said. “Additionally, management enacted a temporary employee pay policy to continue to pay employees during the off-air period, effectively causing QVC Japan’s variable labor costs to be fixed for a period of time. These events described above negatively impacted QVC Japan’s and QVC’s consolidated adjusted OIBDA margin.”

Despite the Japan tragedy, QVC’s international revenue increased 7 percent in the first quarter to $643 million including the impact of unfavorable exchange rates in Germany and Italy and favorable exchange rates in the UK and Japan. International adjusted OIBDA decreased 2% to $103 million for the quarter.

QVC Japan’s revenue and adjusted OIBDA decreased 9 percent and 19 percent, respectively, in local currency for the quarter due to the suspension of operations related to the earthquake and related disasters. In addition, the results were impacted by QVC’s decision to pay all employees during the off-air period and the negative leverage impact of QVC’s fixed fee broadcasting distribution arrangements. QVC Japan also contributed close to $2 million to local charitable restoration efforts.

QVC Revenue Up 3 Percent In Q4, And Rises 5 Percent For 2010

February 28, 2011

QVC’s domestic revenue increased 3 percent in the fourth quarter, to $1.7 billion, and 5 percent, to $5.2 billion, for the year, the home shopping network’s parent Liberty Media Corp. reported Monday.

Sales of electronics, beauty and accessories increased while jewelry sales declined.

QVC U.S. operating income decreased 2 percent to $261 million for the fourth quarter and increased 12 percent to $782 million for the year.

Last week HSN reported a 4 percent increase in fourth quarter revenue, to $636.8 million, and a 5 percent jump for 2010, to $2.12 billion.

QVC’s average selling price for the fourth quarter increased 11 percent from $50.37 to $56.00 while total units sold decreased 6 pervent to 33.2 million. For the year, the average selling price increased 4 percent from $49.01 to $51.19 and units sold increased 2 percent to 110.6 million.

Returns as a percent of gross product revenue increased from 16.4 percent to 16.8 percent for the quarter and increased from 17.6 percent to 18 percent for the year. QVC.com sales as a percentage of U.S. sales grew from 31 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009 to 36 percent in the fourth quarter and grew from 29 percent to 33 percent for the year.

QVC U.S. adjusted OIBDA decreased 1 percent for the fourth quarter and increased 8 percent for the year. Overall, the U.S. adjusted OIBDA results were negatively impacted by $9 million for the quarter and $14 million for the year due to the change in terms of QVC’s arrangement with GE Money Bank for its QCard that was effective in August 2010, as previously disclosed. Excluding the negative impact of this arrangement, the U.S. adjusted OIBDA increased 1 percent and 9 percent for the fourth quarter and year ended Dec. 31, respectively.

QVC’s consolidated revenue, which includes its domestic and international networks, increased 4 percent in the fourth quarter, to $2.5 billion, and 6 percent, to $7.8 billion, for the year. Adjusted OIBDA increased 1 percent, to $533 million, in the fourth quarter and 7 percent, to $1.7 billion, for the year.

Operating income increased 1 percent to $393 million in the fourth quarter and 11 percent to $1.1 billion for the year. Excluding the negative effects of a new agreement with GE Money Bank and the launch of a network in Italy, adjusted OIBDA increased 5 percent in the fourth quarter and 10 percent for the year.

QVC’s international revenue increased 7 percent in the fourth quarter to $802 million and 8 percent for the year to $2.6 billion including the impact of unfavorable exchange rates in the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy and favorable exchange rates in Japan. International adjusted OIBQVC’s consolidated revenue increased 4 percent in the fourth quarter, to $2.5 billion, and 6 percent, to $7.8 billion for the year.

“Our fourth quarter results continued the positive trend with our consolidated adjusted OIBDA margin, excluding our start up operations related to Italy and the negative impact of our new agreement with GE Money Bank, improving 24 basis points over a particularly strong fourth quarter in 2009,” QVC president and CEO Mike George said in a canned statement.

“For 2010, we had some of the most balanced results across markets that we have seen in many years,” he said. “Every established market increased revenue growth and adjusted OIBDA margins, achieved strong eCommerce growth and enjoyed growth in the count of new customers. We made continued progress in broadening the appeal and accessibility of our brand across both markets and platforms. Among the highlights of our achievements this year, we launched a number of exciting new platforms – from mobile applications to second channels and simulcasts; we continued to elevate our products and brands and engaged our viewers with compelling programming including big events like Fashion’s Night Out; and with Italy, we launched our first new market in a decade.”

Van Totaled, Chatting Up ‘Jerseylicious’ Tracy DiMarco, Robert Lee Morris Meet-And-Greet, Back At The Spotted Donkey, Max Gone, Fall In Sheboygan: The Second Anniversary Of Our Layoff

January 27, 2011

Recently we’ve had dealings with some of the folk we knew when we covered the cable TV industry — before we were laid off exactly two years ago today.

We have to chuckle to ourselves when they say, “Oh, Linda Moss. Where have you been?”

We want to answer back, in our best Jersey accent, “Yo, where have you been?”

This summer our lovely BFF Ann McGettigan (left) and The Homeshoppingista visited QVC and rubbed shoulders with famed jewelry designer Robert Lee Morris (did we run this photo large enough?)

Here’s where we’ve been since Jan. 26, 2009:

• Writing 850 blogs for this site, The Homeshoppingista, which some say has become a must-read for the home shopping industry — and sometimes a thorn in the side of QVC, HSN and ShopNBC.

• Writing about New Jersey-related TV programming, such as “Jerseylicious,” and cable-vs.-programmers spats in the Garden State for NewJerseyNewsroom.com.

The Homeshoppingista interviewing Tracy DiMarco of Jerseylicious

• Writing about health care and telecommunications for a fantastic website on public policy, NJSpotlight.com, run by two of our former colleagues at The Herald-News, Lee Keough and Tom Johnson.

• Writing blogs on dementia for a website.

• Writing and breaking stories for TVNewsCheck.com, which is run by a great newspaperman and gent, Harry Jessell.

• Writing market profiles for Harry’s NetNewsCheck.com, which is run by my former colleague Eric Smith, another smart and talented – and blessedly un-anal — editor.

• Crafting blogs for nearly a dozen websites, with most of those pertaining to traumatic brain injury, for a chap, Gordon Johnson, we went to Medill (as in J-school) with. But he was smart, he became a lawyer. “American Idol” candidate Chris Medina got across the heartbreak of TBI lasr night when he told the story of his now-wheelchair bound fiancee.

• Doing a bit of volunteer work for the corporate public relations department of the Saint Barnabas Health Care System, New Jersey’s largest hospital chain, as well as its affiliate, Clara Maass Medical Center.

• Going on dates, with more men in the past two years than we had in the prior 10, when we were working 10 to 12 hours a day, and some weekends and vacations.

• Learning how to use a Mac.

• Traveling to Chicago for a TBI conference for lawyers.

• Going to Wisconsin to see a brain injury survivor, Lethan Candlish, perform a remarkable one-man show about his recovery. Lethan is a master storyteller.

TBI storyteller Lethan Candlish

We must say, it’s a breath of fresh air to in many cases be interviewing and writing for people who don’t have a clue who John Malone or Brian Roberts is. Malone, oh non-cable people, is head of Liberty Media, which owns QVC.

You see, the cable TV industry is a close-knit cabal. That has its pluses and negatives. Some cable folk – and we adore many of them — only see the world through the prism of that industry, as if nothing exists outside it. Maybe it’s just natural for people in an industry to have such tunnel vision.

A year ago we blogged about the first anniversary of our layoff today. The past year has had a lot of ups and downs, personally.

Pet lovers will get this, but it was traumatic when our parents had to put down their dog of more than a dozen years, the min pin Max. Our father many a time threatened to kill that mutt, when he would jump on the table and run off with food, etc. But we were all in the vet’s office, and all cried, when Max was put to sleep.

Our nephew Evan (who told us to buckle up), our dad and niece Sydney at the Tropicana in Atlantic City, seven months before our Columbus Day accident

Just weeks later our dad tried to cheer everyone up by taking us to Atlantic City for Columbus Day weekend. On the way back on the Garden State Parkway my sister’s van – with my parents, sister, brother-in-law, niece, nephew and us in it – was T-boned by a car that came out of nowhere and flew across several lanes of traffic to crash into us.

We can still remember the shock when we were hit, and had no idea what was happening.

Luckily, we all had our seatbelts on (after our 6-year-old nephew Evan had reminded us to buckle up). But the other car hit the side of the van right next to our dad. The jaws of life got him out, but he fractured several vertebrae. He was in and out of the hospital so many times than we lost count, for both his back and his rotator cuff. He was taken by ambulance to the ER many times.

It truly is a miracle that we weren’t killed. Unfortunately our dad was hurt, but no one else was.

At Thanksgiving dinner, our dad always would say grace. This year, he said something like, “Thank you, oh Lord, for our health. Sort of.”

And we all laughed. Our father is nothing if not honest.

But there was plenty of good during the past year. After more than two years away from our beloved Arizona, we finally returned in December, with a guy. Thanks BJ!

It’s much better watching the sunset in Cave Creek, sucking down a prickly pear margarita at the Spotted Donkey Cantina, when you are sharing it with someone. We also enjoyed huckleberry margaritas, and the famous “Big Ass Burger,” at the Roaring Fork.

Watching the sunset from the patio of the Spotted Donkey Cantina, while sipping a prickly pear margarita, is glorious

We and our bud Ann McGettigan got to meet famed jewelry designer Robert Lee Morris when we visited QVC this summer.

And we’ve enjoyed the writing we’ve done during the past year, as we’ve become mini-experts on topics such as TBI, concussions, Obama’s health reform, Alzheimer’s, heparin, malpractice, nursing and plane crashes.

Our clips are now links to dozens of stories that we’ve written since being shoved out the door at Multichannel News. And there is a light at the end of the tunnel for us. More on that later.

And we still have this quote from Louis L’Amour on our bulletin board: “There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. Yet that will be the beginning.”

You were right, Louie.

QVC Parent Liberty Media To Present At The 2011 Citi Global Conference

December 29, 2010

Liberty Media Corp. president and CEO at Greg Maffei will be presenting at the 2011 Citi Global Entertainment, Media and Telecommunications Conference next Wednesday at 3:35 p.m. Mountain Standard Time at The Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix,the company said Wednesday.

Why should you care? Cable honcho John Malone’s Liberty Media owns QVC, that’s why.

During his presentation, Maffei 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 site 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.

The New York Times Reveals QVC’s Secrets: Not, But Honchos Mike George And Greg Maffei Surface

November 21, 2010

First The Wall Street Journal, now The New York Times, have woken up and figured out that home shopping is a booming business. And there was not one mention of cubic zirconia in either story.

While The Journal recently wrote about HSN with a trip to Florida, The Times headed out to West Chester, Pa., to do its take on QVC. The headline on the story this weekend is “Can QVC Translate Its Pitch Online.”

As a veteran journalist, we found that this story didn’t quite gel because although it’s supposed to be about QVC’s online strategy — and its growing online sales — much of the piece reports on the home shopping network’s TV side.

QVC CEO Mike George dissed a gift box with Santa's face on it, to the horror of a QVC PR person

Our guess is that when The Journal wrote about home shopping networks booming and attracting names like celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe and others, The Times had to find a different angle for its story. And it made its angle about QVC.com.

A big thesis of The Times story is that people thought the Internet might hurt home shopping channels. Why would you think that? The Web lets QVC, HSN and ShopNBC sell their vast inventory 24 hours a day, not just a few items every day. But what do we know.

And once again, as we read in The Journal, home shopping hosts and vendors — via those pesky earpieces — are coached by producers about when items are selling, and when they are duds and it is time to move on. Big whoop!

Lisa Robertson says QVC viewers don't want polished professionals

You have the link so you can read The Times story yourself, but here are some points that stood out for us:

— QVC CEO Mike George finally came out of the woodwork and was interviewed for the story.

— George dissed one of QVC’s products, prompting “an anguished sound” from a QVC PR person.

— Greg Maffei, CEO of QVC parent Liberty Media, came out of the woodwork and was interviewed for the story.

— Host Lisa Robertson’s quote, “They (QVC viewers) don’t want to see a bunch of polished professionals. They want to see the real people.” So Lisa, what are you saying? That you and your fellow hosts are a bunch of unpolished amateurs?

— Zoe has brought a ton of new customers to QVC.

— Milinda Baker Weldon from Graham, Texas, is a self-admitted QVC addict who has the network on six hours a day.

— Rachael Ray sold $350,000 worth of cookware on QVC in 12 minutes.

ShopNBC, Meet Your New Biggest Shareholder: Comcast

November 18, 2010

Post its acquisition of NBC Universal, it looks like Comcast is going to wind up as the largest shareholder of ShopNBC.

This may or may not help the home shopping network plug the “one gaping hole” in its distribution: Comcast, which is the nation’s largest cable operator.

To get that tasty tidbit, we took the time to listen to ShopNBC’s third-quarter conference call Thursday, even though we nodded off at one point, dropped our princess phone and had to call to get reconnected to the replay (actually, we nodded off twice). We’re glad we hung in there.

ShopNBC CEO Keith Stewart went mum when an analyst asked why the network had decided not to rebrand itself — as it previously planned — and instead renewed its licensing deal with NBCU to use its current name. ShopNBC will issue additional shares next May valued at $4 million to NBCU as part of the licensing deal.

Then another analyst noted that NBCU now owns 6.4 million shares of ShopNBC, or just under 19 percent of the company, and that the additional shares will put the merged Comcast-NBCU at more than 20 percent of the network, making it the biggest shareholder.

It’s a flash to the past for Comcast, which has a history in the home shopping business. It used to own QVC before selling it to John Malone’s Liberty Media Corp.

During the call, it was Stewart who said that Comcast homes were ShopNBC’s “gaping hole” in distribution. The home shopping network isn’t distributed in about 10 million of Comcast’s roughly 23 million homes.

“We generally use overbuilders to cover that distribution,” Stewart said.

But don’t take Comcast’s new ownership in ShopNBC as a guarantee that your carriage will be boosted, Keith.

About 25 percent of ShopNBC’s carriage deals expire at the end of this year, but the network’s pact with Comcast is not part of that 25 percent, according to Stewart.

QVC Will Watch Performance Of Second Networks In UK, Germany Before Considering One In U.S.

August 15, 2010

QVC Mike George

Don’t expect to see QVC launch a second network in the United States any time soon, even though rival HSA debuted HSN2 on Aug. 1.

QVC this fall does plan to launch second channels in the United Kingdom and Germany, QVC CEO Mike George said during a second-quarter conference call for parent Liberty Media Monday.

Those new shopping networks “will feature the best-of content, and expose QVC to more consumers,” according George.

And QVC in the second quarter started doing a late-night simulcast of its UK network on ITV, and a hour simulcast its Japanese home shopping nework in that country.

But you won’t see any of this happening in America yet, he added.

“The reason we chose UK and Germany for second channel is that it’s relatively low cost to get incremental distribution,” George said. In those countries the new QVCs will be “largely leveraging content off the main channel” but will have some original programming.

In the UK, the second network will focus on bearty, while the one Germany will be “more mixed,” with some focus on beauty, according to George.

“These taped channels provide modest revenue potential,” he said. “I don’t want to overstate the impact, and the key is to do it at a very low cost. In the U.S. we may at some point explore a second channel, but it’s a little bit lower down on our priority list…the equation for us is in terms of amount of revenue potential relative to the cost and caliber of the distribution. It’s not as clear cut a case (in the U.S.) as it is in the UK and Germany. So we’ll watch those two markets…At some point we might consider bringing it to the U.S., but that’s unclear at this point.”

HSN2, which debuted on Dish Network, is using taped content from HSN, content that was shot but never aired on HSN and some original programming.