From Jim Skelton’s Facebook page:

“Last week I posted that I would have an announcement coming soon. Well, today is part one of that announcement. I am retiring from TV! This is a decision long in the making, and was not made lightly. I begin a new chapter in my life, filled with opportunity and excitement. My family will be leaving Miami and relocating to Dallas Texas in April. I am currently on my way to the airport to meet my realtor in Dallas to begin the search for our new home.

I will not be on the air this weekend, but will be on the following weekend, and hope to enjoy my last few shows with all of you. To clarify, I am not leaving to go to another network, the next few shows will truly be my last ever on TV. I have enjoyed my 10+ years doing what I love, sharing my passion for watches with all of you. I’m fortunate to have made a connection with so many people, and gotten to know you and your families over the years. You’ve allowed me to do what I love, and invited me into your homes, and you’ll never know how truly grateful I am for that. It’s time now for me to share my other passions with the world, in a totally different venue, but one that everyone will have access to. In the coming weeks I will follow this up with the rest of the details, but I am still ironing everything out at this point. This time around I have the freedom to share everything about my upcoming adventures, without any silly contracts prohibiting me from disclosing details of where I’m going and what I’m doing. Thank You all so much for your support and I look forward to what lies ahead for myself and my family. Stick around, I hope to surprise you”
The much loved, and equally maligned, former host of the distant number three shopping network, ShopNBC, ShopHQ, Evine has called it quits and is leaving DirectTV channel 227 where he barks for SWI. Unlike ShopNBC, where he was fired, we’re not sure if he is the one calling the shots on this move or not. I’ve wondered what his baggage would mean to Clearlake Capital Group, the investment firm that bought SWI back in December of 2012. Without Lior to protect him and corporate wolves focused on profit and flying below the radar, what would happen with Jim? I’ll state that I have zero knowledge of his contract details, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Skelton was working for base, plus commission. With watchgeeks.net gone, how was Skelton marketing to anyone? His FB page revealed thousands of fans that always lamented their financial woes whenever he added product placements for his shows. He couldn’t have been selling much.  I’d hardly call his Strider watch collaboration with Android’s Wing Liang a success as the price was halved for a few months and he still hasn’t been able to move the total production of 500 units. My prediction: Jim Skelton makes a move into knives and tries to duplicate the success he had in TV horology with the apparent vacuum left by the exit of the Frost Cutlery guys.
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The Future of WOW.tv

March 19, 2013

BASED on a recent thread over at Watchlords, one cannot help but wonder if WoW.tv’s days are numbered. The Ustream infomercial-as-shopping network is no longer being carried on several cable systems, including Time Warner, FiOS or Dish. A look at wowtv’s website reveals that they are only on DirectTV.

WHAT can we attribute this pull back in spending to? Might it be a result of the losses incurred by SWI’s unsuccessful litigation attempting to take the trademark “Swiss Made” away from the
Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry?

OR might it be the result of the new owners of SWI, Clearlake Capital Group. There has been some speculation that the sale was necessary because of the fight with the Swiss Federation but with this new infusion of capital (and new board members) it may just be nothing more than a change in direction. It could be possible that the cost to included the programming on the cable networks is far more than the actual returns. Couple that with the salaries of the hosts and you have to wonder how much ROI there is even if it is streamed exclusively via the Internet.

In any event, what once seemed a potential challenge to ShopNBC watch sales now looks to be little more than a vanity, basement Internet show.

HERE’S an interesting development in the world of TV Horology: Swiss Watch International has apparently lost the use of the word Swiss in both the name Swiss Watch International and Swiss Legend.

I stumbled on a legal decision dated January 30th of this year while researching another possible blog topic and started reading through the court records in the case, Swiss Watch International Inc. V. Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, T.T.A.B., No. 92046786, 1/30/12

The decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the United States Patent and Trademark Office was the culmination of an action that began in 2006 when the USPTO did not grant Swiss Watch International trademarks for either their name or house brand, Swiss Legend on the grounds that the “Swiss” would create confusion with the Federation’s marks “Swiss” and “Swiss made”.

SWI then attempted to have the “Swiss” and “Swiss Made” marks cancelled in the US on the grounds that the names had become generic in the US because the Federation did not control their use and so they were no longer entitled to protection.

But the USPTO dismissed this case and ruled that the certification marks are not generic, despite the unauthorized use of these trademarks by other parties. They cited the Federation’s worldwide monitoring and enforcement system as well as the actions they have taken against third parties that have infringed on these trademarks, as well as the American public’s recognition that the certification marks ‘Swiss’ and ‘Swiss Made’ identify the origin of a timepieces manufacture as Swiss.

Swiss Watch International has already registered a new Legend logo and trademark and I couldn’t find anything pertaining to the parent company’s name.

What strikes me is the argument; that the trademarks are “generic” in the US because third parties have used them without penalty. Might this weak argument be a finger pointed at Invicta for such memorable missteps as the Swina Gate Fiasco and the great The Great DD Debacle? There’s no way to tell because the exhibits used to make their case are either redacted or confidential.

As expected, the company currently known as SWI has filed an appeal so it will probably be awhile until we see how this case ends.

On February 19th I am launching my own WorldofWatches.TV shopping show, it will be broadcasting live every Saturday and Sunday from 6pm to 9pm Eastern Time on Direct TV channel 227. I hope you and your friends and family will watch me.

Thanks,

Lior Ben-Shmuel
President & CEO
The SWI Group

BETTERSKILLS can confirm that Swiss Watch International is indeed launching it’s own televised watch program as well as a streaming version on the Internet.

THIS move comes on the heals of the FCC approval of the NBC Universal/Comcast merger and weeks after a proposed ShopNBC stock offerings. One wonders how this new televised shopping outlet affect Invicta and the distant third home shopping network sales. World of Watches is the premier “Deal of the Day” site and moves quite a few high end brands, like Wyler, as well as their own house brands, like Swiss Legend, Jaques Lemans and Triumph. WoW routinely moves quite a bit of Invicta merchandise typically way below ShopNBC pricing on even current Shop stock.

IT’S no secret that a lot of people are tired of the constant Invicta cavalcade on ShopNBC which is starting to look as ridiculous as the “Shopping Is A Feeling ” scene in the movie True Stories.

I’d long thought that this would be an Invicta move. Looks like SWI flanked them.

WELL, we are at years end and Jim Skelton is still hosting at ShopNBC.

“What gives, Betterskills? Why he still there?”

In my best Teluglish, “Let me ‘splain you…”

In my blog, Jim Skelton Out At ShopNBC?, I initially thought as much, and this suspicion seems to have credence as former host Tim Temple had recently announced that ShopNBC’s management contacting and rehiring him.

But the response from Skelton groupies and Mr.Skelton’s posing as In Cognito and commenting a few weeks after his initial, official response to that blog seemed to suggest that it would be neccisary to push it out. In retrospect his exit will probably follow the fiscal year.

A current trend I notice with the latest ShopNBC schedule, dated 12/30/2009 to 1/5/10 is that Mr. Skelton is hosting his normal Sunday show in prime time but he’s stuck with the late night, early morning slots. There are a total of 28 hours of watch programs, of which Skelton has only 8; the rest of the hours divided up between 7 other hosts. Two of these hosts I do not recall ever having presented watches. Let’s look back at Skelton’s official response to Temple’s return back in October on the website that he owns with Invicta’s Michael Davis:

“Tim will be coming back to host some of the watch hours that are currently being hosted by ‘non watch-specific hosts’ a few hours a week. The watch hours continue to grow on our calendar, and I simply cannot work as many hours as we see listed. Shawn (Wilsie) cannot work that many hours,…”

The entire remaining 20 hours is hosted by ‘non watch-specific hosts’ and Shawn Wilsie is nowhere in sight. One slot is on New Years eve in the wee hours of the last day of 2009. If he had juice, one would think he’d be on vacation like Temple is for this period – right? Additionally he is hosting an electronics show; a show completely out of character as he likes to tout that he is “the watch host” – an hour, reminiscent of his hour of Die-Cast in October.

On tonight’s Invicta show, 12/30/2009, he stated that he so loves his job that he came to work with Kidney Stones. Doesn’t that count as a reason to call off for medical reasons; especially when one is on air talent?

As Tim Temple is fond of saying, “I’m just sayin’…”

And that I am.

ON December 7, 2009, Android Watches got a shot in primetime with Tim Temple hosting. It has been awhile since I had caught a Temple show, but it’s obvious that the old Tim is back. He is clearly comfortable and assertive without the stumbling and jibber jabbering of past presentations.

Android has improved both their designs and quality over the last few years. Where some of the older designs bordered on tacky and were just too much and too small (most around 38mm), Wing Liang, the owner and designer of Android, has managed to strike a balance between being over the top and maintaining wearability. The quality of materials and finishing at these sub $100 priced pieces is pretty astounding. One can clearly see that Android is becoming a serious challenge to both Croton (who has also stepped up their game) and SWI. If these trends continue at Android, Invicta should also take notice.

As is typical of the host tit-for-tat, I detected a couple of veiled swipes at everyone’s favorite dead man walking, In Cognito, er, Jim Skelton, including Tim’s knock on the cliché host practice of telling the audience to “buy one in every dial” as well as a mention of the “largest watch show for the past 5 years” and no mention of Skelton.

Is it telling that Temple hosted Android’s first primetime appearance or just a coincidence?

Mink v. Temple?

November 23, 2009

IS it me or is there a noticable tension between Daniel Mink and Tim Temple? Temple keeps heaping praise on the Renato timepieces but Mink keeps making snarky comments and one wonders where Daniel’s comment regarding being nice because you “never know when your paths may cross again” is directed.

Might the two have a history? It’s quite possible that Mink could have approached JTV or even Shop At Home? It is conceivable that Mink approached other networks after Renato “left” ShopNBC? Could it have been Mr. Temple that derailed any deal? I suspect that the JTV team would have been reluctant to work with Renato because of the complaints from consumers of the diamond quality and clarity, as well as the questionable origin of some timepieces presented as Swiss Made.

A pattern that I’ve noticed with callers is that they are clearly Camp Jim or Camp Tim. I also notice that Tim Temple never makes any mention of Jim Skelton; instead referring to the period that Skelton took over as “The Watch Program”. Correct me if I am wrong, but I have yet to hear Jim Skelton say Tim’s name or Temple saying Jim’s name.

And did you hear John from Texas? Renato watches gave him the will to live?!