Friday, January 21, 2011

Viewers abandoning Food Network?

Posted By on Fri, Jan 21, 2011 at 12:30 PM

Uh oh. The New York Post reports that the Food Network and HGTV have lost about 10 percent of their viewers in the last year. The explanation for the Food Network's problems:

Part of the challenge for the food-focused channel is shifting tastes, with viewers going for edgier culinary "reality" competition shows.

They have a tough job," said Gary Lico, president of CableU, a cable TV research group. "People have a different appetite for food programs. We know edgier cooking shows such as 'Kitchen Nightmares' are doing well."

At the same time, non-food channels, including Discovery's TLC and NBC Universal's Bravo, have jumped on the chow wagon. TLC airs "Cake Boss" and has just launched a spin-off, "The Next Great Baker," while Bravo has a slew of food and real-estate shows, including "Top Chef."

Food Network's primetime schedule relies heavily on four shows: "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives," "Chopped," "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" and "Unwrapped."

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