While Food Network’s key audience demographic saw a 16% decline during the first half of 2013, its sister network HGTV is growing, with its key demo rating climbing almost 8% during the same period, reports the New York Post.
The result is that HGTV beat Food Network for the first time in three years.
The home-focused HGTV added an average of 39,000 viewers 25 to 54 during the first half of the year, bringing its total average audience in the demo to 532,000. Food Network, meanwhile, lost 97,000 viewers in the demographic and saw its average slide to 509,000.
Food Network recently severed its relationship with Paula Deen, the celebrity chef, after she admitted to using a racial slur in the past, as previously reported.
Brad Adgate, research chief at Horizon Media, cited economic trends as a reason audiences are refocusing on home-oriented programming. “As the housing market rebounds, people are looking for ideas,” Adgate said.
The Post adds: "The momentum swing in U.S. living rooms — toward watching shows about the home and tuning out food fodder — is also benefiting the DIY Network, which saw its total audience grow by 12.9% in the second quarter, according to Nielsen."