Viewers Appear to Be Losing Their Appetite for Food Network, HGTV

Jan 20, 2011  •  Post A Comment

It appears Food Network and sister network HGTV are losing their appeal to their core female audiences, as both networks had their first major ratings falloff at the end of 2010, writes the New York Post’s Claire Atkinson.

Food Network posted a 10.3% drop in the fourth quarter among viewers 25 to 54, a key segment for advertisers, the story says. HGTV, meanwhile, saw a 6.1% drop in fourth-quarter ratings. The two channels have been Scripps Networks’ biggest money makers.

But more troubling may be prime-time ratings for women, which fell 9% last month at Food Network for women 18 to 49 and women 25 to 54, the article adds. Part of the problem may be food-related programming on other networks, such as TLC’s "Cake Boss" and Bravo’s "Top Chef," at a time when Food Network and HGTV need to introduce new programming, the article says.

"People have a different appetite for food programs. We know edgier cooking shows such as ‘Kitchen Nightmares’ are doing well," said Gary Lico, president of CableU, a cable TV research group, according to the piece.


  1. The loss in viewers (myself included) with HGTV is largely due to steering away from content that has previously worked and instead trying to convert the network into a personality driven vehicle.

  2. Personality is what has made the network function well. The silly “reality” shows (all done to the same $10,000 formula)are much more the problem. And they have not learned that overexposure is worse than underexposure for their people (EG: Rachel Ray, Bobbie Flay). See them too often and the viewer begins to react negatively. There are too many choices out there, to make this NETWORK after all, A One Note channel. They can do better. The only question, is WIll they?

  3. I know someone must watch Iron Chef, but really the only reasons I watch Food now are for Good Eats and Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

  4. I watch the Cooking Channel because it is a return to what the Food Network once was. It still has personalities, which I enjoy. But on the Cooking Channel, the personalities show how to make delicious and interesting food. They also show you the countries these foods come from. I don’t think there are any competition shows on the Cooking Channel. Because that’s not really why viewers cook, is it?

  5. Food Network has become two things: Guy and “one of you will NOT be the ….” shows (Next Food Network Star, Next Iron Chef, Chopped, etc.) Way too much of the same thing, over and over.

  6. hgtv need to go back to design shows. all that real estate, mortgage stuff need to be toned down. every time i watch hgtv they have a rerun on. but what make it worse it’s the same episode repeated over and over again. when they show a house all i see a quick scan or a fast shot of a room. my eyes don’t even have time to see it. then they put the camera on the people too long when it should be on the design. what happened to Kim’s show, Lauren Lake’s show, tonya Niyak’s show. these and some other designers i don’t see on hgtv anymore. Candice Olsons new show is ok but not nearly as good as Devine Design. i miss her and her crew clowning around. my favorite show was Before&After with Pat Simpson. bring it back and give more time to the after on each episode. hgtv have too many comercials on at one time. hgtv use to have nice houses on the various shows, but mostly what i see on now is some of the worst looking i have ever seen. why would i want to spend my time watching some old run-down cheap looking house? house hunters and house hunters international are only two examples of this. i want to see nice looking, well designed top rated houses. i love Curb Appeal The Block. thats one show you made better.

  7. I don’t know… there was a huge uproar when U-verse dropped these channels last year (especially among 25-60 year olds), so…

  8. Brain-dead competition shows and Guy Fieri could kill any network.

  9. I would have to agree.In an effort to capitalize on sensationalistic drama infused programming like Donna Decorates Dallas,Dina’s party, etc. HGTV is pandering to a reality TV market. It completely devalues the informative qualities of top notch design based programming in favor of personality based schlock.

  10. Lose Guy Stuff His Face Fierri, lose that horrible Duff cake guy and apologize to Paula Deen and admit you are a bunch of sissy jerks

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