Price-Drop TV (2003-2014)
And so after the early days of the success of Bid-Up.TV, they launched another channel in June 2003 called Price-Drop.TV, and again it featured an innovative twist. This time the price fell for the whole of the sale. This was the first shopping channel in the world to have this feature, and when the quantity sold out, there was a price-lock and sale ended, with everybody paying the lowest price. There were also competitions and extra features on the website.
Price-Drop came to Freeview in December 2003 and again I became a big fan. Even the background music was great. Somehow they had managed to find another crop of great presenters who made watching the channel very enjoyable. First of all there was the remarkable Sarah Hendy, who once seen you definitely couldn’t forget, and there was also Gerry McCulloch who had been great on Bid-Up.
My favourite though was Greg Scott. Again I had vaguely heard of him from when he used to work behind the scenes on Countdown, and he was always enjoyable to watch. Just like Andy Hodgson and Peter Simon, he got the balance between being silly and talking knowledgeably about the items just right, and again whenever he was on I would always watch, and he gained a lot of fans, and dear old Greggles could fill time when there were technical problems like no-one else. Although he has presented a few other things since leaving the channel again it’s disappointing that he hasn’t become a bigger name.
When Price-Drop launched they boasted that any item could fall to a pound, although this never happened at first. Around 2004 someone had the great idea of the Megadrop, where at least one item a day would be guaranteed to go down. This was very exciting at first, even the presenters didn’t know when it was going to happen and their surprise seemed real. Also, there were some remarkable deals, with valuable items dropping to a pound that really were bargains. This was such a great idea that it won an award for innovation and creativity and it has been much imitated since.
After a while a third channel was launched, Speed Auction TV came along in August 2005 but that was only ever shown on Sky. Again, as the years went by, sadly the channel which was so watchable at first began to fizzle out. The quality of items began to decrease and there began to be a lot of sub-Poundland rubbish sold, leaving the presenters with little to work with. There were also endless clearances and they began fiddling around with the format. leaving them with three lame channels that were so vibrant at first.
Price-Drop left Freeview briefly in 2009, which meant that they must have lost a lot of viewers. It did return eventually but again it was past its best by now, with them having difficulty selling out items, however low they went. When the channel closed on the same day as Bid in April 2014 it was a great shame. It felt like the end of an era but at its best it was really great and I still remember the happier times fondly.