BLACK SHOPPING NETWORK MOVES INTO MARKETPLACE

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LOS ALAMITOS, Calif.-A new cable home shopping service aimed at African-Americans is trying to expand nationally after testing in Baltimore.

The Black Shopping Network began satellite delivery last weekend, making the program available to every cable system operator as well as home satellite dish owners.

The show features products and services targeting the black consumer market and carries items with prices ranging from $8 to $1,000.

The network kicked off in Baltimore April 16 with a twice daily schedule on the local public access channel. Frequency later dropped to two airings over the weekends.

BSN President James Lewis said the network has completed two episodes of the show, featuring motivational interviews with entrepreneurs as well as product showcases.

"We figured we'd air the first episode until it ran out of legs," Mr. Lewis said. "Well, we found that Episode 1 has legs stronger than Carl Lewis and we're still waiting to air Episode 2."

In conjunction with the satellite feed, the network is leasing access channels on cable systems in Detroit, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Washington.

Mr. Lewis, a former financial auditor for Walt Disney Co., overseeing film production spending and licensing, said all aspects of the operation, including production, acquisition of product and fulfillment, will be handled in-house.

The enterprise currently consists of four full-time employees and a number of hourly workers.

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