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Dish, HSN Shop by Remote

EchoStar Communications last week joined two cable operators, Cablevision Systems and Time Warner Cable, in offering subscribers the ability to purchase merchandise from HSN via their remote controls.

The nation's No. 2 satellite provider launched an interactive service called “HSN Shop by Remote,” which will permit its Dish Network customers to order fashions, beauty products and items for the home from the electronic retailer with a few clicks of their remote controls.

HSN Shop by Remote will be available to the more than 12 million Dish Network subscribers that have interactive-TV enabled set-top boxes.

Last August, St. Petersburg, Fla.-based HSN announced that it was testing its remote-control ordering service with Cablevision Systems digital subscribers in the New York City metropolitan area and with Time Warner Cable in Hawaii.

“We are in serious discussion with other major operators,” said John McDevitt, HSN's vice president of advanced services. “And the Dish launch is great for us, that national footprint.”

Currently, customers can access Shop by Remote through the interactive-shopping section on DishHome channel 100. In coming weeks, customers will be able to access the service directly through HSN, which is positioned on Dish Network channels 84 and 222, by pressing “Select” on their remote when they see an item they want to purchase.

Dish Network customers with an existing HSN account can use their remote control to immediately order the item currently being shown on HSN, as well as the two items preceding it and HSN's “Today's Special.” The interactive application has the same order customization capabilities — selection of size, color, quantity and features — available through traditional HSN ordering methods. An order confirmation will appear on the TV screen following each purchase.

Sales via the remote-control service account for nearly 10% of the overall HSN sales in the markets where it is being tested, according to McDevitt.

“That's almost a more impressive number given the fact that you have to be digital subscriber to have it, so if you do an adjustment for digital penetration, it actually increases that percentage.”

Most purchases take less than 60 seconds to complete, less than half the time than through HSN's automated phone service.