How determined is one of the largest cable television companies, Scripps Networks Interactive, to increase the original programming it offers viewers and advertisers? For the 2013-14 season, the six channels operated by the company plan to add 52 new series.
Scripps Networks has long been devoted to original programming on its channels — Cooking Channel, DIY Network, Food Network, GAC, HGTV and Travel Channel. Still, as viewers and advertisers clamor for additional new shows instead of reruns of programs they already watched or sponsored on broadcast television, cable programmers are racing to beef up their original fare.
The count breaks down this way: Five new series on Travel Channel and GAC, also known as Great American Country; 20 new shows on Cooking Channel and Food Network; and 27 new series on DIY Network and HGTV.
Executives of Scripps Networks shared details of the channels’ plans at a briefing for reporters on Tuesday morning, ahead of an upfront presentation in the afternoon for advertisers and agencies. The presentation is one of eight that are scheduled before the start of the 2013-14 season; the other presentations are, or were, in cities like Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and Minneapolis.
The executives discussed the company’s digital content in addition to the opportunities that advertisers have to reach readers of the two magazines based on two Scripps Networks channels, Food Network and HGTV, which are part of a joint venture with the Hearst Corporation.
And Scripps Networks is climbing aboard the so-called TV Everywhere bandwagon, its executives said. Starting in the summer they plan to offer mobile applications and Web sites that will give authenticated cable subscribers the ability to watch shows on devices like smartphones and tablets.
Many of the new series on the six channels are extensions of existing shows, using and reusing the hosts and cast members of other series on the channels. For instance, the hosts of “Property Brothers” and “Buying & Selling” on HGTV, Jonathan and Drew Scott, will compete against each other in a new series, “Brother vs. Brother,” also for HGTV.
And the rapper Vanilla Ice, who has a hit series on DIY Network with “The Vanilla Ice Project,” will take his interest in homes to another show on the channel, “Vanilla Ice Goes Amish.”
(Really. Seriously. No kidding.)
In another way to minimize risk, some new series borrow the Vanilla Ice template in being centered on faded stars. Examples include new shows for DIY Network featuring the actor Bronson Pinchot; the rapper Joseph Ward Simmons, known as Rev. Run; and the singer Daryl Hall.
The Scripps Networks executives also talked about their continuing efforts to woo advertisers and agencies into working with the channels to develop and produce commercials that go beyond traditional 30-second spots and assume the trappings of content, a trend known as content marketing or native advertising. Advertisers that have already made deals with the channels include JPMorgan Chase, Land Rover, Pier One Imports, Walt Disney and Scotts.
Source: NY Times, 4/23/13