NBCi and ValueVision Channel $20M Into E-tailer

NBC’s new Internet venture NBCi (Nasdaq: NBCI) announced today that it is joining with shopping network ValueVision International (Nasdaq: VVTV) to make a $20 million (US$) equity investment in online consumer electronics retailer ROXY.com.

The deal will showcase ROXY.com’s product offerings on NBCi’s flagship portal, Snap, and across the NBCi Web properties. ROXY.com will also be featured in radio and television commercials designed to feature consumer electronics.

“We see our alliance with ValueVision and NBCi as an exciting new step in our multi-channel consumer electronics marketing strategy,” ROXY.com Chairman Keith Clougherty said.

TV Shopping Plug

ValueVision will put the electronics retailer on its SnapTV home shopping television program and its Internet service by the same name. The two companies will produce a one-hour, weekly consumer electronics show to air on ValueVision, a national shopping network that reaches 31 million households.

“Electronics Without the Static” will include a mix of information about the latest in consumer electronics, expert advice and guidance and sales of home entertainment and personal communications products.

ROXY.com also gets exclusive consumer electronics marketing rights on both the TV and Internet versions of ValueVision, which are slated to be renamed SnapTV and SnapTV.com under a separate agreement with NBCi. NBC has a controlling stake in ValueVision.

“This deal marks another significant way NBCi is working with the NBC family of companies to create new shopping paradigms that cross-over from television to the Internet, further developing our model of turning television viewers into Internet shoppers,” said NBCi CEO Chris Kitze.

One Vision, Two Screens

NBCi is the most ambitious of the Internet ventures by America’s Big Three television networks. While ABC stays mired in the GO network morass created by Disney, and CBS plods into the Internet with the speed of cold molasses, NBC has ventured out into the interactive territory on its own.

Launched as a separately traded unit in November, San Francisco, California-based NBCi is made up of Snap, the Xoom community service and several NBC Internet properties. NBC has a 47.3 percent stake in the venture.

Soon after its launch, the company demonstrated its interactive vision when it announced the launch of an Internet boutique to sell clothing and accessories worn by the characters in its daytime drama “Passions.” Later in the month, it wooed viewers to their computers to vote online for their choice of a field of six contestants to make a guest appearance on the show.

More TV-Internet Overlap

In November, NBC launched NBCi as a public company and opened a revamped version of the Snap.com site. The network of Snap branded sites ranked as the seventeenth largest Web property in Media Metrix’s November rankings.

Besides being featured in NBCi ads, ROXY.com will become an anchor tenant on the Snap Electronics Shop page of Snap’s Internet portal. It will also be integrated into other NBCi sites, such as Web community XOOM.com, TV sites NBC.com and AccessHollywood.com, and the VideoSeeker on-demand video service.

ROXY.com and NBCi are also planning a direct online retailing campaign to highlight the retailer’s consumer electronics offerings.

About The Companies

ROXY.com, founded in April 1996, earned the highest ranking – 107th — of any consumer electronics-only retailer on [email protected] Week magazine’s list of the top 500 e-commerce companies. The company operates two Web sites — www.ROXY.com and www.everythingwireless.com — and consumer electronics sales channels for other online properties such as Federated Department Stores’ Fingerhut Companies.

ROXY.com has also established cross-promotional relationships with popular Web properties such as CBS SportsLine, ESPN.com, the NFL, NBA and NHL, NASCAR and ABC News, among others.

Minneapolis, Minnesota-based ValueVision is 39.9 percent owned by General Electric– NBC’s parent company — and NBC. The network offers programming around the clock and says it can reach 31 million households across the United States.

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