HSN Pitches Cable Modems


The Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing’s cable-operator members are experimenting with using direct-response television to sell high-speed Internet services.

HSN cut a deal with CTAM to spotlight high-speed-data services July 31, when the infomercial channel will run an all-day promotion for Gateway Inc. computers.

Viewers will be offered $50 rebates from their local cable providers, and they’ll be encouraged to call a toll-free number for CTAM’s “Only Cable Can” initiative or log on to the Only Cable Can Web site (www.onlycablecan.com) to order high-speed-data packages.

CTAM senior vice president Seth Morrison said HSN’s on-air hosts won’t plug individual high-speed-data services such as Road Runner or Charter Pipeline. Instead, Only Cable Can will direct viewers to their local operators.

Using a home shopping channel to promote high-speed-data service is a new strategy for the cable industry. Based on the response to the HSN promotion -- which cable operators are touting with cross-channel spots that began running July 19 -- Morrison said the strategy could continue.

“With HSN, what makes this so exciting to us is that we’re going to be using the on-air home shopping techniques to really explain a complex service,” Morrison said. “You’ll see the host explaining high-speed Internet in what we hope will be really understandable terms.”