HGTV (an initialism for Home & Garden Television) is an American basic cable and satellite television channel that is owned by Scripps Networks Interactive. HGTV broadcasts a variety of how-to shows with a focus on home improvement, gardening, crafts, and remodeling. The channel is headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee. The channel sponsors the annual HGTV Dream Home and HGTV Smart Home giveaways.
As of February 2015, approximately 95,628,000 American households (82.2% of households with television) receive HGTV. In 2016, HGTV overtook CNN as the third most-watched cable channel in the United States, behind Fox News Channel and ESPN.
Kenneth W. Lowe (then a radio executive with The E.W. Scripps Company and, subsequently, the chief executive officer of Scripps Networks Interactive) envisioned the concept of HGTV in 1992. With modest financial support from the E.W. Scripps corporate board, he purchased Cinetel, a small video production company in Knoxville, as the base and production hub of the new network. Lowe cofounded the channel with Susan Packard.
Cinetel became Scripps Productions, but producing more than 30 programs simultaneously proved daunting. The organization brought in former CBS television executive Ed Spray, who implemented a system of producing (nearly all) programming through independent production houses around the United States. Burton Jablin, as Vice President of Programming, set the tone and oversaw the production of the early series. About 90 percent of the channel's programming consisted of original productions at launch, with ten percent licensed and rerun from Canadian channels, PBS, and other sources.
Using local Scripps cable franchises (which have since been divested), the Federal Communications Commission "must carry" provisions of Scripps medium-market television stations, and other small television operators to gain cable carriage, the channel launched on December 1, 1994. The major programming themes, unchanged since the beginning, were home building and remodeling, landscaping and gardening, decorating and design, and crafts and hobbies.
During its development, the channel was originally named the Home, Lawn, and Garden Channel. The name was later shortened and a logo was developed. The logo was amended in 2010, with this version debuting on March 1 of that year. The square with the "G" in it was removed, the roof was increased in size and the "HGTV" letters are now set in Gotham Black (from the original mixture of Futura and Times New Roman), with the other Gotham fonts being used around the network. The network debuted with a skeletal staff, but with gradual acceptance by other cable operators, it now reaches 94 million households in the United States and has either partner networks, or network interests, in Canada, Japan, and elsewhere. It is now referred to simply as "HGTV"; the full name of the channel is de-emphasized.
In July 2008, the E.W. Scripps Company spun off the channel and the other Scripps cable channels and web-based properties into a separate company, Scripps Networks Interactive; E.W. Scripps broadcast television and newspaper properties remain as part of the original company.
In December 2011, the channel began broadcasting all of its programming in 16:9 aspect ratio (or letterbox) format on its primary standard definition channel. This results in the appearance of black bars on the top and bottom of the screen on 4:3 aspect ratio televisions; its high-definition channel displays the channel's programming in its native aspect ratio.
HGTV's current programming focuses primarily on home-buying, renovation, and reality shows following the business of house flipping. SNI CEO Ken Lowe stated of the programming strategy that "We're not going to surprise you. We're not going to throw you a curve ball. It's not easy to create content that people are passionate about and somewhat addicted to that is somewhat repetitive." As of 2016, HGTV has invested at least $400 million annually on original programming.
The 1080i high definition simulcast feed of HGTV launched on March 31, 2008. Originally, the HD channel did not simulcast the standard definition feed of HGTV. Instead, the HD channel featured programming separate from the standard channel. The standard definition feed of the channel began to carry the full 16:9 aspect ratio downgraded from the HD feed in a letterboxed format in early 2013.
On December 31, 2009, Scripps Networks Interactive removed the Food Network and HGTV from New York City-area cable provider Cablevision, on the day that its carriage contract was set to expire. After months of negotiations, an agreement between Scripps and Cablevision was not reached, prompting the removal of the two channels. On January 21, 2010, Cablevision and Scripps reached a deal and the channels were restored to Cablevision's systems in the New York City area on the same day and by the next day in other areas.
On November 5, 2010, AT&T U-verse dropped the DIY Network, Cooking Channel, Food Network, Great American Country and HGTV, due to a carriage dispute with Scripps Networks. The carriage dispute was resolved two days later, on November 7, 2010, through a new carriage agreement.
On June 13, 2012, representatives for HGTV admitted that scenes featured in the original series House Hunters are mostly re-creations of prior events. In many cases, the final decision and purchase were made prior to filming. In some cases, homes visited were not even on the market.
In May 2014, HGTV decided not to air the Benham Brothers' show Flip It Forward from the network, over a controversy regarding their beliefs concerning homosexuality and their pro-life beliefs.
In 1997, Atlantis Communications and Scripps Networks launched a Canadian version of HGTV as a Category B specialty channel. Through a series of acquisitions over the years, Corus Entertainment became Scripps Networks' partner in the network.
The Canadian version features much of the same programming as the U.S. channel, along with domestically-produced programs—some of which have also been picked up by the U.S. channel. Two series originating from Canada—Love It or List It and Property Brothers—have ranked among HGTV's most popular programs.
On 1 February 2015, HGTV launched in Australia on Australian IPTV service Fetch TV.
On 31 August 2015, HGTV launched in Malaysia on DBS Pay TV Astro (television).
On 27 June 2016, HGTV launched in New Zealand as a free-to-air channel on the Freeview terrestrial platform. On 24 August 2016, HGTV launched on the Freeview satellite platform and on Sky.
On 1 July 2016, HGTV launched in Indonesia on Indovision.
Scripps Network Interactive buyed from Grupa ITI majority shares TVN with all canals. On 7 January 2017, HGTV has joined to Poland insteand TVN Meteo. HGTV in Poland calls HGTV Home&Garden. Polish HGTV is first in all Europe.
HGTV was honored with the Academy of Achievement Award for their significant impact on the home and garden décor industry at the 22nd Annual Accessories Resource Team (ARTS) gala event on January 2, 2011. In 2012, HGTV won the Dixon Award for Best TV Channel.