RealTime IT News

NBC Launching E-Commerce Site

NBC has signed a hosting and fulfillment deal with ShopNBC, operated by Value Vision TV, for its new NBC Store site, which is launching on the Web this week.

The new NBC Store site was designed by the ShopNBC interactive team, which will provide online maintenance as well as hosting services.

Fulfillment will be facilitated from ShopNBC's 260,000 square feet state of the art distribution center in Bowling Green, Ky., and customer service will be made possible by its call centers in Brooklyn Center and Eden Prairie, Minn. Financial arrangements were not disclosed.

ShopNBC is a national shopping network, formerly known as ValueVision TV, that is owned and operated by ValueVision Media.

"We will continue to explore ways to expand our relationship with NBC by leveraging each other's online and broadcast assets," said Dick Barnes, COO of ShopNBC.

The new NBC store will feature the same NBC-themed merchandise found in the NBC Experience retail store in New York City, including products from programs such as "Will & Grace," "Friends," "Saturday Night Live," "West Wing" and "ER" as well as NBC Sports merchandise.

In addition, information about the NBC Experience Store and ticket sales for the New York studio and Rockefeller Center tours offered by the store can also be obtained on the site.

ValueVision operates a multimedia network aimed at offering consumers an entertaining, informative and interactive shopping experience. GE Equity and NBC own about 40 percent of ValueVision. As the nation's third largest and fastest growing shopping network, ShopNBC is broadcast 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is simulcast live on the Web at ShopNBC.com and on Yahoo! ShoppingVision.

General Electric's NBC shut-down its online play, NBCi, last April.

Meanwhile, San Francisco-based CNET Networks Inc. launched a commerce services partner program to license its Virtual Learning Agent (VLA) comparison shopping engine. Lucasfilm Ltd. is the first company to participate in the program.

Lucasfilm is using the VLA engine to power shopping on its StarWars.com site, letting users search for and compare products from dozens of retail partners.