It's Fun Here!
The earliest origins of the very first cable channel created with the sole purpose of selling stuff goes back to 1977. Lowell "Bud" Paxson was placed in charge of handling a fundraiser for a local Florida radio station by selling electric can openers on the air for $9.95 each. The can openers sold out and Paxson saw an idea for a format of programming where items were sold over the air. Thus the channel first named Home Shopping Club was born. The channel began to air on cable systems in Pinellas County Florida where it changed its name to Home Shopping Channel within the first few months. In no time the channel would be the first national shopping channel, by expanding to other local cable systems in America by purchasing local independent over-the-air channels and taking them over. It did this by forming a broadcasting company called Silver King Broadcasting. They launched a second 24-hour channel called America's Store in 1997 which went off the air in 2007. They launched another sister channel called HSN 2 in 2010. As for the OTA stations, after media mogul Barry Diller bought out HSN in the 90s along with the USA Network
, he intended to convert them into independent stations with a format modeled after the original Citytv
in Toronto known as CityVision
; four stations (Miami, Atlanta, Dallas and Boston) got converted before Diller sold out; the stations were sold to Univision
(which used them as the nucleus of a secondary network, currently known as UniMas) and USA was sold back to Universal
Home Shopping Network was a unique channel when it first launched. The channel offered live demonstrations of products of all sorts where the viewers could phone-in to place an order for the item. The channel would also launch an official website in 1999 to sell products as well. In 2017 the channel would purchase long-time rival QVC to become one new company. By the 2009 transition to digital over-the-air television in America, Home Shopping Network stopped airing on full-power channels, but in a nod to its creator, it is found on the sixth sub-channel of Paxson's entertainment creation, ION.