Discovery is launching its home and lifestyle channel HGTV, one of its most prominent and successful cable brands, as a free-to-air channel in Italy and in 11 pay-TV markets across Europe including Romania, Hungary and Serbia.
The European roll out of HGTV is part of Discovery’s international strategy to expand the reach of this former Scripps Network brand through its extensive distribution network, the company said in a statement.
The launches will increase HGTV’s reach to an estimated more than 100 million potential viewers people across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
HGTV, which according to Discovery has been the top network for “upscale” women aged 25-54 for 12 consecutive years in the U.S., launched last year in Germany and South Africa. In the U.K. the Home channel will be be rebranded as HGTV later this month.
HGTV celebrates the spirit of home by focussing on what its promotional materials call “five content pillars of the home: buying and selling, renovation, flipping, home improvement and dream homes.” The channel’s hit shows internationally are “Fixer Upper,” “House Hunters” and “Flip or Flop” (pictured).
The unusual launch of Discovery’s flagship lifestyle cable on free-to-air in Italy is due to the fact that in Italy Discovery is the country’s number 3 broadcaster in terms of audience share.
This latest addition expands Discovery Italia’s channel portfolio in Italy to a total of 13 free and pay TV brands. Discovery Italia’s portfolio of channels now consists of 9 free to air channels: Nove, Real Time, DMAX, Giallo, Motor Trend, Food Network, K2, Frisbee and HGTV (following its launch next month). Plus 4 Italian pay channels: Discovery Channel, Discovery Science, and Eurosport 1 and Eurosport 2 which are available on Sky.
“It’s great to be launching HGTV in Italy and across Central Europe,” said Kasia Kieli, who is President and MD Discovery EMEA, in a statement. She noted that HGTV “provides a unique opportunity for commercial partners and advertisers to connect with this key audience group” and added that they will be announcing further launches over the coming months.