QVC (British TV channel)

QVC UK is a television shopping channel broadcast from the United Kingdom to the United Kingdom and Ireland. It was formed in 1993 when QVC, Inc. agreed to a deal with Sky TV to create a UK version of the US channel. "QVC – The Shopping Channel" first broadcast in the UK on 1 October 1993.

QVC UK
Programming
Picture format576i (16:9 SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Ownership
OwnerQurate Retail Group
Sister channelsQVC Beauty
QVC Style
QVC Extra
History
Launched1 October 1993
Links
Websitewww.qvcuk.com
Availability
Terrestrial
FreeviewChannel 16 (QVC)
Channel 37 (QVC Beauty) (19:00–13:00)
Channel 38 (QVC Style) (13:00–19:00)

History

The original US channel was founded in 1986 in West Chester, Pennsylvania by Joseph Segel. It grew into a multinational corporation, specialising in televised home shopping. It now broadcasts in five countries to 141 million consumers. The name is an initialismstanding for Quality, Value, Convenience. However, unlike in the US, the expansion of the initialism is no longer used on air in the UK.

The UK venture launched on 1 October 1993, becoming the UK's first full-time home shopping channel and in 1998 the UK venture turned its first net profit (£12.5 million), against a loss of £228,000 in 1997.[1] Originally 20% owned by Sky, it became a wholly owned subsidiary of the US broadcaster in 2004.[2]

In 2008 QVC UK launched a multiscreen video service accessible via the interactive television layer, making three video streams available to Sky viewers via the red button:

  • QVC Live
  • QVC+1 (a time delayed service)
  • Today's Special Value presentation

In February 2020, QVC UK had a whole new rebrand with a whole new logo.

QVC Beauty

On 26 October 2010 a second channel was launched in the UK, QVC Beauty, available to viewers of Freeview, Sky and Freesat.[3]

The channel broadcasts from 4:00 am to 2:00 am daily on Freeview channel 35. 2:00 am QVC Beauty HD on Freeview channel 112 only broadcasts from 2:00 am to 4:00 am daily due to the channels over rating.

QVC Beauty HD ceased broadcasting on Freeview with the closure of the COM7 multiplex.

QVC HD, QVC Extra and QVC Style

QVC had planned to begin broadcasting in high-definition from September 2012, to be followed by the launch of two new 24-hour channels on Sky.[4] On 11 February 2013 Sparkle TV and Twinkle TV launched on Sky. On 1 July 2013, Twinkle TV was renamed QVC Style. Sparkle TV became QVC Extra on 12 August 2013, with both channels added to Freesat.[5] The following day saw the channels relaunch with availability expanded to Freeview via the connected red button on QVC Beauty.[6] In July 2014, QVC Extra launched on Freeview channel 57, but closed in 2015, while QVC Style launched on Freeview channel 36 in August 2016, replacing QVC +1. QVC Style changed its hours to 2:00 am to 4:00 am on 31 March 2020, allowing QVC Beauty to extend its hours. On 21 April 2015, QVC +1 HD launched on Freeview channel 111, becoming the second high-definition timeshift service in the UK (after Channel 4 +1 HD). From 2016 to 2018, QVC Extra was temporarily rebranded as QVC Christmas. QVC Extra launched on Virgin Media on 27 July 2021. QVC HD ceased broadcasting on Freeview with the closure of the COM7 multiplex. QVC HD was later launched on Freesat and Sky in April 2022.[7]

QVC Active

QVC Active was an interactive television service made accessible using the red button on QVC UK's cable, Sky and digital terrestrial services. Across each enhanced television platform, QVC provided information including a 24-hour TV Guide, bestselling products of that day and an ability for the viewer to interact with QVC UK's inventory. Customers viewing the Sky and cable TV platforms could buy products using their set-top box. On 13 August 2013, QVC Active closed as a result of more customers using mobile devices for ordering.[6]

Operation in the UK

QVC UK operates from two main sites. From launch until June 2012, its headquarters and broadcasting facilities were at Marco Polo House, the former British Satellite Broadcasting headquarters in Battersea, London. These operations then moved to Chiswick Park,[8] a 'campus'-style development on the site of a former derelict London Transport bus depot in West London.[9] Its call centre and distribution warehouse is located in Kirkby, Knowsley, in Merseyside. These facilities were moved in 1998 from Liverpool's Harrington Dock. The company also has outlet stores in Warrington and Shrewsbury.

In June 2011, it was reported that QVC UK had begun carrying out trials of 3D broadcasting. This was merely an experiment, a spokesperson said.[10]

The channel broadcasts live from 9:00 am to 1:00 am (the remainder being repeated content) year round. QVC UK claims a market penetration of 15.4 million homes on cable, satellite, and digital terrestrial TV. The Astra 2E footprint also takes in much of Western Europe. Retail sales for the year 2008 reached £360+ million.

Products

QVC organises its product range into nine distinct categories:

  • Beauty
  • Fashion
  • Shoes & Accessories
  • Jewellery
  • Home & Kitchen
  • Electronics
  • Garden & Leisure
  • Health & Wellbeing
  • Gifts

QVC also stock a wide range of Christmas Products, with Christmas items available from July 25 when the Channel Celebrates "Christmas in July".

Current presenters[11]

  • Simon Biagi
  • Charlie Brook
  • Anne Dawson
  • Annaliese Dayes
  • Ophelia Dennis
  • Chloe Everton
  • Debbie Flint
  • Dale Franklin
  • Jill Franks
  • Kathryn Goldsmith
  • Pipa Gordon
  • Will Gowing
  • Jilly Halliday
  • Catherine Huntley
  • Jackie Kabler
  • Alison Keenan
  • Alex Kramer
  • Miceal Murphy
  • Eilidh Nairn
  • Katy Pullinger
  • Julia Roberts
  • Craig Rowe
  • Alison Young

Regular current guests

Past presenters

  • Kara Baker
  • Julian Ballantyne
  • Sophia Barnes
  • Jon Briggs
  • Suzanne Evett
  • Harry Greene
  • Debbie Greenwood
  • Anthony Heywood
  • Katy John
  • Paul Lavers
  • Rob Locke
  • Claudia Sylvester
  • Kara Tritton
  • Steve Whatley
  • Carmel Thomas
  • Anna Cookson
  • Michaela Hyde
  • Tim Goodwin
  • Claire Sutton
  • Kathy Tayler

References

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