Apparently the Property Brothers gave many people comfort during gloomy, contentious, ol’ 2016.
HGTV was the third-most-watched network last year, behind only Fox News and ESPN, according to Bloomberg News.
HGTV even bested CNN for viewers, causing Vanity Fair to observe: “People would rather watch paint dry on HGTV than turn on CNN.”
Perhaps. But Bloomberg dug deep to find the many secrets to HGTV’s success. Take the cost of its programming. HGTV makes 900 hours of original programming a year on a budget of about $400 million, Bloomberg found.
Compare that to Netflix, which Bloomberg says spent at least $500 million on 600 hours of original shows last year.
And, for lack of a better word, HGTV is “homey.”
“If you watch a lot of our competitors, it’s about bling-y expensive real estate in New York or crazy flipping in L.A.,” Kathleen Finch, chief programming officer for HGTV parent company Scripps Networks Interactives, told Bloomberg.
“For the most part, our viewers live in suburban houses with yards. We embrace the real America.”
And HGTV shows are purposefully low-conflict, which means no cussing, no shouting, no rancor other than lively discussions about shiplap and tiles.
“Instead of making the network feel trivial, its fans say, the relentlessly pleasant programming is a comfort, especially in hard times,” Bloomberg noted.
Are you listening, CNN?
“So why are people flocking to HGTV?” writes Redbook magazine. “Their hosts are relatable, and have social media feeds that make us feel like we’re their neighbors.
“And seemingly insurmountable tasks, like fully flipping a house, are done in an easy half hour, which is always pleasing compared to obstacles people face in the real world.”