QVC (partially found live broadcast of 9/11 attack and program suspension of TV shopping channel; 2001)

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The main message shown during the suspension of QVC's broadcast.

Status: Partially Found

American free-to-air shopping channel QVC was in the middle of airing live programming on September 11th, 2001, when the September 11 attacks occurred. With their increasing seriousness and scale, the events eventually led to the abandonment and temporary suspension of network programming during an airing of Denim & Co. a few hours after the attacks begun.[1] A slide was put up to note that program was suspended and one should turn to a news channel, alongside later adding an additional slide with contact information to donate to the American Red Cross. Variations of these two slides were kept up until the following day, after which regular programming resumed.[2]

QVC is notable for being one of the only American non-news channels that was airing live at the time of the attack. This resulted in it being some of the earliest entertainment to be affected, and one of the few live non-news programs to be interrupted by the attacks.

Despite the high percentage of American households receiving QVC, the live broadcast and eventual suspension of programming that occurred during the attacks has never resurfaced, with only various captures of the later suspension slides being known to exist.


Later on in the day, QVC would start alternating the main suspension message with this message asking viewers to donate to the American Red Cross.

Very little is known about what transpired on QVC during the attacks and what the timeline for eventual suspension of programming was. What is known is that the channel was airing the program Denim & Co., which showcases a QVC-owned brand of various clothes by the same name, at the time the channel suspended broadcasting.[1][3] The host during this broadcast was Jill Bauer, a long-time QVC host from 1993 to 2019.[4] QVC programs can vary of length, often between 1 to 3 hours, so it's not certain how long Denim & Co. aired that day and if it encompassed all of the time the network was on the air while the attacks were ongoing. One video, showing a QVC broadcast from April 30, 2000, notes Denim & Co. aired Tuesdays starting at 11 am EST[5] If this airtime carried over to 2001, this would mean other programs aired during the attacks themselves, while broadcasting was only suspended a few hours later during the Denim & Co. broadcast.

According to one user on the QVC forum, Jill Bauer suddenly told the audience in a serious tone that they might want to change the channel to a news channel.[6] On their account, the channel never specifically mentioned what was going on, only being vague by telling viewers to change the channel to one with news coverage. It's unknown if this was immediately followed with the suspension of selling products, or if products were continuing to be sold for a while longer.

Douglas Rose, senior vice president of multichannel programming and marketing for the company at the time, noted that "by 11 am it was pretty clear, the entire company felt we should stop doing business. The idea of commerce seemed kind of moot."[1] Notably, the earliest known rip of QVC during 9/11 was at 11:45 am, showing QVC programming already suspended while Denim & Co. was still supposed to be on air.[3] This likely makes the time of the channel being fully suspended being between 11 am and 11:45 am EST.

Initially, when normal network programming was suspended, a slide was shown stating the following:

"QVC acknowledges today's events and expresses our heartfelt concern with this national tragedy. For more information, please turn to your TV news channel. In light of these events, QVC will be temporarily suspending its broadcast."[7]

Unlike several other channels that suspended broadcasting that day, no background music was added to accompany the message. A male voice-over was eventually added to the message, simply repeating the message shown on the screen. Similarly, unlike similar channels that suspended broadcasting, QVC did not retransmit news coverage of the events. This likely is due to not being part of the same company as any channel that had ongoing news coverage.

A second slide was eventually added in rotation to the one announcing the channel's suspension. This asked viewers to consider donating to the American Red Cross if they wanted to help with relief efforts. This included phone numbers for both English and Spanish callers.[8]

At an unknown time starting in the afternoon, the two slides were swapped out for ones with slight variations. The slide announcing suspension of regular programming trimmed down the sentence "QVC acknowledges today's events and expresses our heartfelt concern with this national tragedy." to simply "QVC expresses heartfelt concern with this national tragedy."[9] The American Red Cross slide was additionally updated to give more specific information, with one phone number set up to receive monetary donations and another given for those who wanted to donate blood.[10] A new voice-over was used to coincide with these updates, suspected to be a different person then that of the original voice-over.

Variations of these messages are said to have ran continuously on the channel until September 12th at 9 AM EST. QVC then came back on air with hosts Leah Williams and Tova Borgnine, with Mary Beth Roe being known to have hosted later in the day.[1] Tova Borgnine is a seller of beauty cosmetics under the TOVA Beverly Hills brand, likely making a show selling this brand of cosmetics the first post-9/11 show on QVC.[11] If they immediately went back to selling products when broadcasting first resumed is not known. was also stated to have been taken offline for the same period as the QVC channel suspended broadcasting. While no archive of QVC's website on the day of broadcast suspension is known to exist, it was reported that the message displayed on the website was similar, but not exactly, like the one that aired on the QVC channel:

"The QVC family expresses our deepest sorrow and concern over the tragic events that our nation is currently facing. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected. In light of today's tragedy, QVC has suspended our programming until further notice."[1]

QVC additionally had several international channels running in 2001, including ones in the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan. Strangely enough, one of the few surviving live broadcasts from the day came from Germany, when, in late 2020, YouTube user Zauberspiegel uploaded a minute clip from a QVC Germany broadcast. While including a message acknowledging what happened in the United States, it seems like products continued to be sold on the German channel while the United State channel suspended its broadcast.[12] This would imply that only the United States channel suspended operations for the day.


The slides used during the day-long suspension of broadcasting have been readily available for years. These have been captured in brief portions of VHS recordings made of individuals channel surfing their cable lineup during the day. While no long recording of this suspension beyond a few minutes exist, the slides simply repeat constantly throughout the suspension and would be considered fully found.[8]

Despite the high number of households QVC reaches and the wide abundance of home recording technology available at the time, the live broadcast and suspension has never resurfaced after its initial airing. The earliest known recording of the channel that day was an individual passing by QVC while channel surfing at 11:45 am, which by that point QVC suspended its programming.[3]

Given QVC is a live shopping channel, user recordings of full shows on QVC are rare as the programs have little practical purpose after their initial airings. Furthermore, anyone who could have been watching or potentially recording QVC in the morning would have likely been instead watching or recording news broadcasts of the attacks that were going on. Similarly, many of the channel surfing videos only happened later in the day, as many would have only been watching various news channels until events started to settle. This has made the broadcast elusive in nature.

In addition, the initial broadcast once QVC came back to air has never resurfaced. There was likely little notice when the channel would come back, and very few individuals would be anticipating its return given the nature of what happened the previous day.

QVC is thought to hold a copy of the broadcasts, but given the serious nature of the content, it is unlikely that they will ever officially release them in any capacity.


The most complete recording of the suspensions, including the later voiceover and American Red Cross slide (clip starts at 55:33).

QVC Germany clip from September 11th, 2001. This remains the only known live clip from any QVC network on this date to have reemerged.