Satellite TV hits stores

May 6, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Premier Retail Networks, the San Francisco-based provider of private retail networks and in-store programming for some of the biggest retail chains in the country, and EchoStar Communications are creating a national in-store satellite TV-based delivery system.
That program and advertising delivery system will eventually supplant the traditional videocassette, DVD or server-based delivery systems now in use. For now it will be another option offered along with PRN’s own storewide networks.
Sears, Roebuck and Co. is the new system’s first customer and is expected to roll out this dish- and set-top-based system in more than 800 Sears stores by June. PRN also will continue to deliver programming and advertising for its in-store Sears Television Network.
The expectation, according to Charles Nooney, PRN’s chairman and CEO, is that satellite delivery of programming will be both easier and faster than previous methods. “The frequency of updates” is one advantage of the satellite system, he said, along with the significant lower “cost of entry” into retail stores, which adds as much as thousands of dollars per location.
PRN partnered with satellite, rather with one of the mega-multiple system operators, because of EchoStar’s wide reach, he said. “Given EchoStar’s footprint, this will allow us to go into every retail location in America,” he said.
PRN is buying both the dishes and the set-top boxes from EchoStar’s DISH Network Business Solutions unit, Mr. Nooney said. Those dishes and boxes are part of EchoStar’s DISHPoP service, designed to create private television networks for businesses. The programming will continue to come from PRN, which both creates original programming for retailers and distributes licensed content from a number of broadcast and cable sources, including ABC News, Discovery Health Channel, Oxygen Media, TechTV and VH1.
PRN’s retail clients also include Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Best Buy and Circuit City. PRN’s networks are Nielsen-measured and can be viewed in nearly 5,000 stores, representing every designated market area in the country.