As media companies throw more of their firepower into new streaming-video behemoths, some of them still maintain a fondness for good ol’ TV networks.
Discovery and home-renovation gurus Chip and Joanna Gaines are moving ahead with the planned launch of their Magnolia Network, which will replace cable’s DIY on January 5, 2022 at 9 p.m. eastern. The outlet’s first offering will be “Fixer Upper: Welcome Home.”
Magnolia launched earlier this year on the Discovery Plus streaming service and a separate, dedicated Magnolia app, with more than 150 hours of unscripted programming devoted to home, design and gardening, among other household topics. But a linear cable network remains key to the endeavor, which aims to take the Gaines — best known for their “Fixer Upper” series on HGTV — and put them at the center of a home-arts programming universe in much the same way others tried to do with Martha Stewart and other domestic-arts gurus.
“On the heels of our successful digital launch this past July, we are excited to fulfill our initial goal of bringing Magnolia Network to the broadest audience possible, meeting viewers wherever they are,” said Allison Page, global president of Magnolia, in a prepared statement. Executives had initially planned to launch the cable network in the summer of last year, but those efforts were thwarted by the coronavirus pandemic.
While many media companies — and the Wall Street banks that follow them — are increasingly focused on streaming, cable networks continue to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising and subscription fees. They can also serve as bases of marketing that can give consumers a taste of certain kinds of content while pushing them to get more of it from a subscription service. Discovery has been using many of its cable holdings to sell viewers on the idea of buying a subscription to Discovery Plus, as anyone who has seen promos touting it at the bottom of the screen during programs such as Food Network’s’ “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” can tell you.
Magnolia Network’s inaugural linear slate will feature episodes from original series such as “Fixer Upper: Welcome Home,” “Magnolia Table with Joanna Gaines,” “Restoration Road with Clint Harp,” “Home Work,” “The Lost Kitchen,” “Family Dinner,” “The Johnnyswim Show,” “Super Dad” and others, as well as the full five seasons of the original “Fixer Upper.” Episodes from the iconic series “This Old House” will also air on Magnolia Network. Existing DIY series set to join the Magnolia roster include new seasons of “Maine Cabin Masters,” “Barnwood Builders,” “Restoring Galveston,” and “Bargain Mansions.”
“It wasn’t long ago that watching TV meant time together as a family. It was a place where people of all ages could gather and be informed, entertained, and inspired by the kind of honest, authentic programming that brings people closer,” said Chip and Joanna Gaines in a prepared statement. “ We can’t wait to see these stories brought to life on cable this January, and we’re hopeful about the impact it might have — to help reclaim the best of what television can be.”
Viewers with an active DIY Network subscription in their existing linear TV package will automatically have access to Magnolia Network on Jan. 5. Those who do not currently subscribe to DIY Network as part of their existing linear TV package may contact their respective providers for information about how to add DIY Network prior to the switch
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