New channel for Peterborough-based Ideal Shopping Direct

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Peterborough-based home shopping business Ideal Shopping Direct is fighting back against the recession with a new £500,000 free to air television channel.

Peterborough-based home shopping business Ideal Shopping Direct is fighting back against the recession with a new 500,000 free to air television channel.The satellite TV channel retailer, based in Newark Road, has agreed to take an additional daily five-hour slot, seven days a week, in a bid to combat the economic downturn.

Ideal will broadcast live content from its Create and Content umbrella arm, on Freeview channel 36, from 8am to 1pm, from next month.

The news is a significant step for Ideal, which, just two months ago, announced a trading loss of 4 million and a sales decline of two per cent, down to 94.7 million from 96.6 million.

However, the company, which also operates Ideal World and Ideal Vitality, sees the move as a "significant opportunity" to appeal to a wider audience of television viewers.

The outlay of half a million pounds will be made in the second half of this year, but the company has anticipated the cost will met by an increase in Create and Craft sales. It expects the additional 35 hours of airtime a week will "accelerate" growth and contribute to a profitable year in 2010.

Chief executive Mike Hancox said: "Our experience of running craft programming in the morning on our Ideal World Freeview channel is that there is a significant craft audience available at this time of day.

"We feel that a dedicated channel on Freeview will allow us to capture more of this untapped audience and allow us to trial new lines alongside those on our dedicated Sky Create and Craft channel."