How does Scripps Nets’ Home & Garden TV grow?

Mar 19, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Home & Garden Television is looking to draw more than its regular home-and-garden-variety viewer.
The Scripps Networks channel is boosting its program budget 25 percent to an estimated $85 million, according to industry estimates, adding 13 new shows-eight in prime time-to its schedule in the fourth quarter.
The network is picking up where it left off last year by expanding its program slate with shows that accent storytelling and style in hopes of broadening its audience reach.
“The long-term strategy we have is to move away from how-to, projectlike shows in afternoon through prime time and go into more lifestyle and story-driven shows,” said Burton Jablin, president of HGTV. “We’ve been experiencing 20 [percent] to 30 percent increases in the programming budget for the last couple of years.”
HGTV will air 1,500 hours of new programming next season, which includes episodes for its new and existing series, along with 38 new specials.
This spring, HGTV also rolls out its first major consumer ad campaign, which is designed to draw new viewers to sample the network. The multimedia ad campaign-which triples last year’s budget-kicks off April 2 with print ads in lifestyle and general-interest magazines, including Home Living, Better Homes & Gardens, House and Garden, People and In Style.
HGTV will follow with select national spot cable and radio ad buys later in the second quarter.
“For HGTV it will be the first sustained consumer marketing effort,” said Mike Boyd, vice president of marketing. “The budget allows us to have a long-term campaign throughout the year.”
HGTV added 10 million homes during the past year to reach the 69.3 million subscriber mark. Its core demographic is age 25 to 54 with a heavy draw of women. HGTV has had two successive years of ratings increases, but was flat in prime time in February, averaging a 0.7 rating, representing 465,000 homes, according to Nielsen Media Research.
HGTV hopes its consumer ad spots will pique new viewers’ interest in trying the channel.
“We believe if we can communicate that, get people to come and sample us, that our ratings will increase,” Mr. Boyd said. “Hopefully, we can convert those people to become part of that loyal fan base.”
Highlights among HGTV’s 38 scheduled specials include “Pool Spectacular,” which visits homes with unusual or exceptionally beautiful pools. It is set to air in October.
New HGTV shows to launch in the third quarter are:
* “House Detective” (prime time) Looks at the trials and suspense of that last step in closing the deal for a home-the home-inspection report. Viewers watch as buyers, sellers, real estate agents and certified home inspectors check out the property.
* “The Look With Katie Brown” (prime time) Host Katie Brown looks at the latest in design and decorating trends. The series travels to beautiful houses, designers’ homes, showrooms and trade shows.
* “A Place to Call Home” (prime time) A road show that each week visits the country’s “most livable cities,” such as Boulder, Colo., and Ann Arbor, Mich. Viewers learn about the architectural influences and garden and floral mixes that distinguish each city.
* “Renovations” (prime time) Hosted by Australian renovator Barte Shadlow, the series looks at the pitfalls, problems and victories of home renovation and improvement.
* “Sensible Chic” (prime time) Host Susan Blake shows viewers how to achieve the look of a million-dollar renovation at a fraction of the cost.
* “Sew Much More” (daytime) A how-to series on sewing projects in fashion, home decor and accessories. Hosted by Susan Khalje.
* “Wood Works” (weekend) A how-to series on advanced woodworking that focuses on furniture building.
* “Indoor Gardening” (weekend) A how-to series on choosing and tending plants inside a home or office.