While Food Network Struggles, Its Sister Network’s Ratings Are Sizzling

Jul 3, 2013  •  Post A Comment

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."

17 Comments

  1. There has to be another reason why Food Network dropped so much. I mean, you gotta eat. Why not learn all you can about food to eat what either is good for you or that tastes great? Food versus home is not a zero sum game. If 97,000 people left the Food Network why did only 39,000 start viewing HGTV. I think Mr. Adgate’s analysis is flawed but I have no clue what might be a more accurate explanation for the changed viewing habits.

  2. I’m one of the 97,000 viewers that Food Network lost. It has nothing to do with the economic rebound; and by the way, I have done tons of home renovating this year without watching HGTV. The loss of my viewership is a direct result of the FN not renewing Paula Deen’s contract, while at the same time instantly removing her from the lineup.

  3. The reason Food Network is in decline is they are cannibalizing themselves. They have given up creating and airing quality shows that have to do with food over poorly thought out quasi-reality shows that spend more time with contestant drama and practically no air time about food or cooking.
    Food Network now airs infomercials in the midst of shows pushing products. They are nothing more than an all hours product merchandising platform. It is very disappointing.

  4. I had no problem watching Food Network’s earlier programs. It wasn’t just chefs in the kitchen, there were also other shows like Unwrapped, which was fun to watch, Food 911, Alton Brown had Good Eats that showed a scientific look at recipes and food plus there were Emerald Lagasse, Mario Batali, Rachael Ray, even Anthony Bourdain, who are there no more or rarely seen.
    All of a sudden Food Network added competition and reality shows, and a few were okay but it soon became overkill and tiresome. Then they added restaurant stakeout and failing restaurant shows which soon became boring and predictable. Restaurant Impossible host Robert Irvine seriously lied on his résumé and lost his respectable value. Food Network could have taken a more damage control or at least have been more supportive to Paula Deen but she got thrown under the bus over an incident that happened over 20 years ago.
    Let’s not forget how once kitchen chefs Bobby Flay, Alton Brown and Giada De Laurentiis became the network’s Holy Trinity and most new shows had to have one or all as they reigned Food Gods, then enough was enough and I rarely watch the network anymore. Like MTV lost its music, Food Network lost its food.

  5. I, too, am one of the viewers the FN lost due to the Paula Deen thing.

  6. ME TOO!

  7. I too stopped watching after Paula Deen was not renewed as well as her reruns dropped. I still will not wtch FN until they apologize now that the truth is out. However, I WILL watch Jamie Deens son on Subday morns bc that’s what Paula wants. Paula has a huge following hence a huge number of us left FN. Paula was dropped before all the facts were out. So wrong!!!!

  8. Food Network may have lost some viewers because of Paula Deen but most of us are leaving because the network has switched to too much emphasis on “competition” shows and “reality” shows. Simple look at their Facebook page would prove their viewers want less of that garbage and much more of true cooking shows with chefs/cooks preparing real recipes that anyone could and would make at home

  9. I, too, am an ex food network foodie … can’t take any longer, all of the politically correctness they are serving up… which virtually has NOTHING to do with regular folks, making REGULAR food!! I find Sandra Lee, a skank … posing as the “little home cook who will save you BIG $$.$$, while she lives in the lap of POLITICANS, very WEALTHY libs, and well as for Alton Brown, is he making his bid for Jake the Snake CARNEY’S beloved water-boy job, with the Obama or Clinton’s . . . either way, HUGE turn OFF!! Now I no longer “include” this foolish, foodless, politically motivated disappointing mess on my calendar. Oh… remember, Ina also worked for the “politically correct, ones in DC. . . now she’s a HAMPTON GIRL!! so sickening!!

  10. The reason ratings have gone down is because the shows are terrible. Chef wanted has Anne Burrell screaming at chefs she claims are all great candidates for jobs. Willie Degal’s show is again, some dude screaming for an hour. Cutthroat Kitchen is just terrible. Forcing chefs to cook in mediocre environments is NOT entertaining. And does Guy Fieri need another show? Don’t even get me started on how dismal Thieves, Inc is. And Food Truck wars has the worst host ever – Tyler LITERALLY calls it in. And on Food Court Wars, as in FTW, he has no personal connection with contestants. He seems to not even knows their names. Paula Deen’s absence is not the issue. I could care less about her. But entertainment where showing off the best of chefs is the key. Chopped is awesome. I LOVE that show.

  11. The reason ratings have gone down is because the shows are terrible. Chef wanted has Anne Burrell screaming at chefs she claims are all great candidates for jobs. Willie Degal’s show is again, some dude screaming for an hour. Cutthroat Kitchen is just terrible. Forcing chefs to cook in mediocre environments is NOT entertaining. And does Guy Fieri need another show? Don’t even get me started on how dismal Thieves, Inc is. And Food Truck wars has the worst host ever – Tyler LITERALLY calls it in. And on Food Court Wars, as in FTW, he has no personal connection with contestants. He seems to not even knows their names. Paula Deen’s absence is not the issue. I could care less about her. But entertainment where showing off the best of chefs is the key. Chopped is awesome. I LOVE that show.

  12. The reason the Food “Network”‘s ratings are plummeting (and will continue to do so) is because it’s changed its focus from cooking to an attempt to pander to a young male demographic to secure more advertising dollars (which it will never accomplish). This is why you see endless re-runs of Guy Fieri and one clone show after another. The “Network” has only managed to alienate its core audience (people who like to cook) and has turned itself into a third-rate circus act.

  13. I don’t think the ratings are dropping because of Paula Deen. None of the other 20+ companies that distanced themselves from her are suffering.
    I think it’s more so because Food Network has started to make their entire lineup network centered around competition and reality shows. Every time I turn FN on, it’s a re-run of Guy’s Diner show. Or some show centered around a failing restaurant. Not the recipe/cooking centric shows that made them popular to begin with.

  14. Exactly. I used to watch them all day, but now there’s nothing to teach you something useful–it’s all stupid competition shows with dumb rules and ridiculous time constraints.

  15. Exactly. I used to watch them all day, but now there’s nothing to teach you something useful–it’s all stupid competition shows with dumb rules and ridiculous time constraints.

  16. I watched Food Network for 10 years everyday religiously and it truly taught me to be a better home cook. It added so much to cooking for me, however I too have stopped watching FN because its not longer about learning. The only hope I had was when Cooking Channel was added. I LOVED so many of the shows on it when it started. Now its the same as FN, all dumb competitions and game shows. FN should now be call “The Food Game Show Network.” I truly feel like I lost so much by not having FN or Cooking channel. I don’t even run through the guide anymore. Its truly disappointing.

  17. I agree with the person who has had enough Guy Fieri to last a lifetime. This idiot is on all Friday night, for hours on Saturday and Sunday. I work long hours and can watch only on weekends. I don’t want to see this goofball day and night. The reality shows and restaurant “renovations” are also boring. If you go into business and don’t serve customers what they want, you go out of business. That’s how it works. All the Robert Irvines in the world won’t save you in the end. All it does is disgrace your families on national TV while you’re failing. It’s a shame. I would like to see Paula Deen back. She is a better cooking talent and TV personality than all the other phonies on the network. I’m done watching!

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