HSN, Univision form Spanish Shopping

Distrib to be in U.S., Latin America, Spain

HSN Inc. and Univision Communications Inc. have joined to form the Spanish Shopping Network for distribution in the United States, Latin America and Spain, it was announced Monday.

The Home Shopping Network, a subsidiary of Barry Diller’s HSN, will own 50.1% of the venture, and Univision will hold a 49.9% stake. Spanish Shopping Network, which will be managed by HSN and distributed by Univision, is skedded to begin broadcasting during the first quarter 1998.

“In offering television shopping in Spanish, I can’t imagine a better market for long-term development both in the United States and for the 540 million Spanish-speaking peoples of the world,” Diller, HSN’s chairman and chief exec, said in a statement.

While the partnership brings together HSN’s retail experience and Univision’s Hispanic market expertise, company officials said Diller and Univision chairman Jerry Perenchio’s personal relationship was the main catalyst. “Barry Diller is a dear friend and a true visionary in communications and entertainment and I have always wanted to be associated with him,” Perenchio said in a statement.

Michael McMullen, prexy of Home Shopping Network Intl., said the Spanish Shopping Network will begin on Univision’s cable channel Galavision. “We don’t expect it to pay out in the first year, but we hope it will pay out in three years,” he told Daily Variety.

This is Home Shopping Network’s third international partnership. Last year, HSN combined with Sumitomo Corp. and Tele-Communications Inc. to launch Japan’s Shop Channel, and partnered with Kirch Group and catalog company Quelle to start Home Order Television in Germany.

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