HOT unveils major expansion plan
HOT Networks, the German broadcaster that operates the teleshopping channel Home Shopping Europe (HSE), has announced an ambitious expansion plan. Outlined at last week’s Medientage Munchen media conference, it will see the company invest a total of E50 million this coming year.
The HOT holding currently operates five television channels under the HSE brand name. Furthermore, through its majority stake in Euvia Media, it is the main owner of Neun Live, the viewer-participation entertainment channel formerly known as TM3, and Sonnenklar, Neun Live’s travel channel due to launch in May 2002.
According to a statement, HOT expects to reach a consolidated sales revenue of E330 million this year, with its German HSN channel achieving a financial profit. Overall, however, the company is likely to make a loss of E90 million this year, due mainly to having expanded through the launch of four new TV channels and the creation of an accompanying Internet presence for them. In 2003 – with a consolidated turnover of E750 million – HOT expects to reach a financial profit of E30 million for the first time.
HSE’s UK affiliate channel launched on October 17 to DTH homes on the Sky Digital platform as a free-to-air service. As a result, the company now operates tailored channels in Germany, the UK, Italy, France/Belgium and The Netherlands. HSE’s first interactive shopping service was recently launched on the Stream platform in Italy, and a similar service is likely to be created for German viewers in the first half of next year in co-operation with Kirch Group’s technology subsidiary Beta Research. HOT currently owned by US-based Home Shopping Network (HSN), which holds 46.66 per cent, with Thomas Kirch, and former Pro Sieben head Georg Kofler each owning 26.67 per cent.