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Craft and hobbies channel plans European expansion

Published: 9 October 2015
The UK's first crowdfunded national TV channel is to be rolled out across Europe after surpassing its month one trading target by 760%.
Craft and hobbies channel plans European expansion
HOCHANDA, Home Of Crafts, Hobbies And Arts, was launched on August 27 on the back of £1.9m in crowdfunding and, in its first month of broadcasting, took 10,500 product orders.

As product sales continue to surpass expectations and fresh crowdfunding is generated, the channel is now set to be expanded across four European countries before the end of the year.

The channel began broadcasting in Germany on Monday, October 5 and will launch in Sweden, France and Spain before the end of 2015.

Broadcasting will be extended to more countries in Scandinavia and Western Europe in 2016, as the station targets a share of a market with some 290 million TV-viewing households.

Bosses believe the business has the potential to be worth between £200m and £500m within five years, with European expansion central to its growth plans.

Their aim is to create the largest home shopping channel in the world and, ahead of overseas expansion, and they have put in place a bilingual call centre and installed technology which enables live, on-screen translation.

The team behind HOCHANDA includes Paul Wright and Val Kaye, who founded and sold Ideal Shopping Direct incorporating Ideal World and Create and Craft TV shopping channels.

HOCHANDA'S CEO, Jamie Martin, is also managing director of Bidmedia, a company that brokers deals with ITV, C4, Channel 5, Universal and Viacom.

Mr Martin said: "In recent years the craft industry has grown exponentially across Europe, as well as in the UK, and there is huge demand for quality products and programming in the sector.

"Having outstripped both our fundraising and trading targets since launch, we are confident that we can continue to enjoy strong, sustainable growth here and overseas in the coming years."

In the UK, HOCHANDA broadcasts on Freeview channel 39, Sky channel 663, Freesat channel 817 and IPTV. Around three quarters of its airtime is dedicated to crafts - from paper and fabric crafts through to craft beer - with the remaining time focused on hobbies, such as fishing, travel and DIY.

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