CSN infomercial net signs on

A cable service that signs on the air Jan. 10 is using new digitized technology and an upmarket approach to slip to the front as the infomercial race picks up speed.Lisa Brown, executive producer of The Know Show on the Consumer...

A cable service that signs on the air Jan. 10 is using new digitized technology and an upmarket approach to slip to the front as the infomercial race picks up speed.

Lisa Brown, executive producer of The Know Show on the Consumer Savings Network, says csn wants to earn a piece of the Canadian infomercial market with the quality of its productions and the sophistication of its technology.

Canadian infomercials, which, according to Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission regulations, must be shown using alpha numeric or ‘stop-motion’ techniques, ‘are not being done really well,’ says Brown in an interview.

In too many cases, she says plugs for the product or service overwhelm the information that should be imparted to viewers.

She says privately owned csn certainly intends to let viewers know who is sponsoring a particular infomercial, but she adds, at the same time, the network intends to provide greater amounts of product information than hitherto has been the case.

Advertisers already signed for The Know Show on csn are Air Miles, the loyalty program, Quality Special Products, a maker of cookware and other items, Sears Canada and Telemedia Publications.

Brown says on the technological front, alpha numeric is difficult to watch, alluding to the jerky motion of Canadian-made infomercials and their sometimes poor sound quality.

(Many viewers confuse Canadian-made infomercials and their u.s.-made counterparts since Canadian tv stations and u.s. border stations both run American-made productions.

(However, the crtc allows Canadian-made infomercials in alpha numeric only. In the u.s., the Federal Communications Commission allows infomercials full motion.)

Brown says to counter the irregular motion of Canadian infomercials, csn will use new digitizing technology to make what is shown on tv here glass-smooth by comparison.

So far, Brown says csn has signed deals to buy time from cable companies Classicomm, Maclean Hunter Cable TV and Rogers Cable TV, all operating in Toronto, its suburbs or southwestern Ontario.

She says negotiations with other cable companies in Ontario are under way, and there are plans to launch csn nationally by the end of this year.

Brown says each infomercial will run 15 or 30 minutes.

At the moment, csn is offering advertisers four segment broadcasts a day. DC