HSN, BET SLATE SHOPPING PROGRAM TARGETING BLACKS

Byline: SHARON EDELSON

NEW YORK--Home Shopping Network and BET will launch a weekly, two-hour home shopping program, called BET Shop, on Sept. 17 with a range of products for African-Americans. The program will air on BET, a cable network targeted to an African-American audience. HSN will provide a set to air the show and merchandising assistance. "We know black consumers are distinct buyers of certain products," Robert L. Johnson, president and chief executive officer of BET, said Tuesday. "Black consumers are heavy consumers of apparel and jewelry. The idea is to reach this customer with quality products at prices they can afford."
The program is a test that could lead to a BET/HSN black-oriented shopping network. Officials from the companies declined to project volume for the test.
Johnson said BET is still negotiating with manufacturers to supply the show. BET Shop will become part of BET's direct marketing subsidiary created last June, called BET Direct, which markets Color Code cosmetics via infomercials and sold $1 million worth of products last year.

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