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MTV Names Fingerhut For Fulfillment

NEW YORK -- MTV Networks said Tuesday it chose Fingerhut Cos., a multi-media direct marketing firm based in Minneapolis, to do the fulfillment and order-taking for its home shopping programs.<BR><BR>As reported, MTV Networks will produce programming...

NEW YORK — MTV Networks said Tuesday it chose Fingerhut Cos., a multi-media direct marketing firm based in Minneapolis, to do the fulfillment and order-taking for its home shopping programs.

As reported, MTV Networks will produce programming for a six-month home shopping trial that will air on the MTV, VH-1 and NICK at NITE cable networks beginning in April. Fingerhut will provide direct marketing, data base management and merchandising expertise.

Financial details of the agreement were not available. However, the companies said cable operators will receive a percentage of sales.

The thrust of the MTV merchandise will be music-related, but apparel will also be part of the mix.

At the end of the test period, MTV and Fingerhut will evaluate the results and decide whether or not to roll out the concept.

While diminishing capacity on the cable dial has become a concern for new programmers, MTV Networks has had the opposite problem: three existing cable networks, but none of the fulfillment infrastructure necessary for order-taking and shipping.

Tom Freston, chairman and chief executive of MTV Networks, said he had approached QVC and Home Shopping Network with the home shopping concept. Those talks fell apart.

Fingerhut, which will be a partner in the venture, is operated by former executives of CVN, a defunct home shopping channel. Fingerhut also operates USA Direct, a television unit, which produces infomercials, among other programming.