HGTV Analysis - Broadcasting & Cable

HGTV Analysis

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SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

A lot of change has come to HGTV this year, and more change is on the way.

HOUSE HUNTERS and HOUSE HUNTERS INTERNATIONAL remain the key component of primetime, and after being floated around the schedule they are now tethered to 10 and 10:30 from Monday through Saturday. They also receive much less primetime airtime, with 24 fewer telecasts this June than June 2011, partially due to the now eliminated Friday night HOUSE HUNTERS INTERNATIONAL stack. Besides the HOUSE HUNTERS programming, only Mike Holmes' programming and the SELLING... franchise get more than two runs per week. No other show is stripped across the week, although PROPERTY BROTHERS was appearing on two nights in June.

Each night of the week offers a different theme of programming from 8 to 10. Mondays were promoted as a signature night last year, but this year Tuesday hosts the penultimate signature series, HGTV DESIGN STAR. Wednesdays are host to “The Guys of Wednesday Night,” featuring KITCHEN COUSINS, PROPERTY BROTHERS and INCOME PROPERTY, and a new program SCORING THE DEAL slated to launch in late 2012 or early 2013. Thursdays feature power real estate brokers of SELLING NY, LA and LONDON. Fridays were HHI stacks, but are now a rotating mix of specials and encores, with HGTV'D and MY YARD GOES DISNEY landing there this June. Design Time Saturday remains a bastion for design programming and Sunday nights feature Mike Holmes’ programming, which attracts a 50/50 male/female audience.

Half hour programs are still paired to create one-hour blocks, but hour-long shows are becoming more common on the line-up, particularly in the 8:00 hour.

JUNE 2012 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Live Plus Same Day Primetime Ratings Comparison / June 2012 vs. June 2011  (% Change)

HH

W18-49

W25-54

Monday 8-11pm

  6%

   -10%

  -7%

Tuesday 8-11pm

  6%

    7%

   8%

Wednesday 8-11pm

  11%

    0%

   5%

Thursday 8-11pm

  -1%

     0%

  -3%

Friday 8-11pm

  -4%

    -15%

   -6%

Saturday 8-11pm

   3%

     0%

   0%

Sunday 8-11pm

 -11%

   -26%

 -27%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

   1%

     -7%

  -5%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

JUNE 2012: HGTV primetime picked up steam vs. last month with an 8% increase on core women 25-54, but it was not enough to hold audiences vs. last year. HGTV has been able to keep pace with last year’s performance. Until now.

Even with a reduced presence, the HOUSE HUNTERS franchise held the most hours of programming, by far – 24 hours in total. They also held the best household and female ratings. With HGTV’s schedulers nurturing the franchise by cutting back on encores, it also showed the most growth vs. last year on core women 25-54. In fact, the HOUSE HUNTERS were the only returning programs from last year to show any growth on women 25-54. It was the supporting players that fell down on the job.

The single biggest hit to the bottom-line was the decreased female interest in Mike Holmes’ Sunday night programming. While male audiences held on Sundays, women dropped by 27% vs. last year.

Last year MY YARD GOES DISNEY, HOUSE HUNTERS ON VACATION and HGTV’D headlined Mondays, while this year Monday is dedicated to property purchasing. LOVE IT OR LIST IT continues to find success, effectively replacing PROPERTY VIRGINS with ratings that are slightly better on households (+9%), and significantly better on demo (+55% women 18-49, +44% women 25-54). However, Monday’s property-purchasing programming is delivering 7% lower women 25-54 ratings than the signature programming of last year.

This month, HGTV’s signature night is Tuesday with HGTV DESIGN STAR 7 playing a starring role. CELEBRITIES AT HOME and MILLION DOLLAR ROOMS were the lead-ins at the beginning of the month, which was consistent with the design-theme of the night. However, ratings are not huge for the genre as a whole, and the one-hour version of PROPERTY BROTHERS replaced them in the second half of the month. Ratings for PROPERTY BROTHERS were a big improvement, and DESIGN STAR seemed to benefit. Still, it was not the top-rated program on the line-up like it once was. In fact, PROPERTY BROTHERS lead-in ratings were the same or better than the signature series. In the end, Tuesdays’ improvements counter-balanced declines on Mondays, and both nights were among the better-rated of the week.

Wednesday is actually the best-rated night, with KITCHEN COUSINS and PROPERTY BROTHERS plus the best-rated eps of HOUSE HUNTERS and HOUSE HUNTERS INTERNATIONAL.

Thursdays’ SELLING NY (which was on Tuesday nights last year) has branched out into SELLING LA, and this month SELLING LONDON moved in. Ratings are fairly even among the bunch, implying a good audience flow across the night, if not a break-out hit.

Fridays have been home to a mix of specials this year. However things settled down in June when MY YARD GOES DISNEY took up permanent residence at 8PM, followed by HOUSE HUNTERS ON VACATION (Monday night’s combo from last year). Neither program did well as compared to last year. MY YARD GOES DISNEY took the biggest year over year program average decline on core women 25-54 with a 46% drop in ratings, and HOUSE HUNTERS ON VACATION took the second biggest decline with a 32% fall.

Saturday’s design programming ratings held even with last year. While the niche line-up yields the lowest ratings of the week on households, Saturday nights topped both Fridays and Sundays this month on women 25-54 demos.

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