RealTime IT News

Home Shopping, Excite@Home Team for Broadband Shopping

Television shopping channel Home Shopping Network (HSN) is teaming up with Excite@Home to create and simulcast what the companies called "the most widely distributed live interactive shopping experience currently available."

HSN and Excite@Home said they intend to develop a co-branded shopping experience to be broadcast both online at Excite.com and on HSN TV.

The new broadband shopping program, powered by proprietary streaming media network iBEAM and available later this year, would allow online shoppers to view live video of HSN TV and to interact on Excite.com via a 56K modem as well as a broadband Internet connection such as cable, DSL, or T-1, from home or work.

The co-branded TV and online program is intended to provide a wide range of interactive capabilities such as immediate access to additional information on HSN products, online interaction with HSN hosts, participation in real-time chats, casting votes during live product polling, registering for contests and simultaneous shopping online with family, friends and other customers.

The two companies also plan to invest in online and off-line marketing and promotions to support the program. Financial arrangements were not disclosed.

"This relationship between HSN and Excite@Home represents a significant breakthrough in online shopping," said Jack Kirby, president of HSNi, the Network's interactive division.

"The delivery of innovative broadband shopping content moves far beyond the typical `electronic catalog' experience that has become the norm." "The convergence of the TV audience and broadband will draw Excite users and shoppers in through live interactivity and community-building features," said Richard Gingras, senior vice president and general manager of Excite Studios.

Home Shopping Network, a division of USA Networks Inc., helped to pioneer the electronic retailing industry in 1977. Its 24-hour programming reaches more than 74 million households. In 1999, the company generated $1.2 billion in sales. Broadband online service provider Excite@Home says it has a global footprint of 105 million homes under long-term cable and DSL contract.