Magnolia Network, Discovery’s joint venture with Chip and Joanna Gaines, will light up as a linear pay-TV network on January 5, 2022.
The channel’s debut — a rare event in an era of streaming fixation and a shrinking pay-TV bundle, will come in the form of a rebrand of Discovery’s existing DIY Network. The first show to air on Magnolia will be Fixer Upper: Welcome Home, which returns the Gaineses to the hosting role that helped make them stars of TV and branded merchandise.
The launch is among Discovery’s many significant moves in 2021. At the start of the year, the company launched direct-to-consumer streaming service Discovery+, which includes select Magnolia programming. The company has also entered into an agreement to combine with WarnerMedia in a new entity to be spun out from AT&T. The companies expect regulatory approval of the transaction by mid-2022.
Even though cable TV networks are no longer in vogue as must-have assets, and some media companies are even opting to unplug some of their portfolio, many Discovery networks have a desirable profile. Lifestyle programming tends to be viewed live, making it appealing to advertisers. Apart from news and sports, networks like HGTV, Food and TLC have demonstrated appeal to pay-TV operators, and the businesses throw off significant cash. As it manages its traditional holdings through a period of secular decline, though, Discovery — like its media peers — faces a challenge in how soon and how aggressively to push consumers to streaming.
Magnolia Network’s inaugural linear slate will feature episodes from a number of original series. The roster includes Fixer Upper: Welcome Home; Magnolia Table with Joanna Gaines; Restoration Road with Clint Harp; Home Work; The Lost Kitchen; Family Dinner; The Johnnyswim Show; and Super Dad. The five-season Fixer Upper library and episodes from long-running home-improvement series This Old House will also air on the new network.
“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,” Chip and Joanna Gaines said in a press release. “That’s what we’ve set out to build with Magnolia Network, and we’ve been amazed by the stories and storytellers we’ve found, people whose lives are living proof that our world is full of beauty, hope, courage, and curiosity. 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.”
DIY Network shows like Maine Cabin Masters, Barnwood Builders, Restoring Galveston, and Bargain Mansions will air periodically on Magnolia. Library fare from DIY, including titles like Stone House Revival, Building Off the Grid and Beachfront Bargain Hunt Renovation, will also air on the cable channel.
“It is a thrilling moment to be bringing this network to the very platform that first introduced Chip and Jo to the world just eight years ago. From home and design, to food and garden, to inspirational and uplifting stories of all kinds, we are introducing a new lifestyle brand defined by authenticity, beauty and vulnerability,” said Allison Page, global president, Magnolia and DTC. “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.”
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