Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Network Coming to HBO Max in September

The corporate melding of Discovery+ and HBO Max took another step toward fruition when Warner Bros. Discovery Aug. 4 announced that select content from Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Network would become available to stream on Max starting Sept. 30.

As part of a new spotlight page featuring curated Magnolia Network content, the Max streaming slate will include episodes from “Fixer Upper: Welcome Home,” “Magnolia Table With Joanna Gaines,” “The Lost Kitchen,” “Growing Floret,” “Family Dinner With Andrew Zimmern,” “Restoration Road With Clint Harp,” “Maine Cabin Masters” and the complete five-season “Fixer Upper” library, among others.

Additionally, the new project from the Gaines, “Fixer Upper: The Castle,” will drop concurrently on Magnolia Network, HBO Max and Discovery+ on Oct. 14.

More Magnolia Network content will appear on the Max spotlight page over the coming months, and the full network slate will continue to be available on Discovery+.

“Chip and Jo are without a doubt the most beloved duo in the home renovation and lifestyle space, with a legion of fans who have followed them from ‘Fixer Upper’ to the launch of their very own network,” Casey Bloys, chief content officer for HBO and HBO Max, said in a statement.

Following its successful digital launch on Discovery+ last summer, the Magnolia Network unveiled its linear home in January in front of an audience of three million viewers, landing a spot among the top 25 basic cable networks — up 17 spots from the previous year — and establishing Magnolia Network as the fastest growing cable network in the first quarter of 2022 based on year-over-year growth.

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Recently, Magnolia Network racked up a total of five Emmy nominations — the most of any legacy Discovery brand — including a Primetime Emmy nomination for “Fixer Upper: Welcome Home.” HBO/HBO Max received 140 Emmy nominations across 24 original programs for the upcoming 74th annual Emmy Awards, marking the 20th time in history that the HBO brand has received the most Primetime Emmy nominations of any network/platform in a single year.

The combination of Discovery+ and HBO Max remains one of the key objectives (and challenge) of Discovery Inc.’s $43 billion operational control acquisition of WarnerMedia from AT&T.

Discovery Rebrands DIY Network to Magnolia Network — Headlined by Chip and Joanna Gaines

Chip and Joanna Gaines’ media empire has officially taken off. The home improvement superstars from Waco, Texas, has officially launched the Magnolia Network, which involved corporate parent Discovery rebranding the longstanding DIY (Do It Yourself) Network with the “Magnolia moniker” — a move that includes transferring more than 50 million paid pay-TV subscribers.

The Gaines are media darlings, whose empire includes a restaurant, bakery, home furnishings, cookbooks and real estate, among other interests. They, along with the Property Brothers, are mainstays to the Discovery+ subscription streaming VOD platform that launched on Jan. 4, 2021.

After taking a TV break from their popular “Fixer Upper” home improvement program, there was much scuttlebutt where the Gaines would end up. After speculation the program might move to Netflix, HBO Max or Amazon Prime Video, Discovery CEO David Zaslav ended the speculation early, announcing the Gaines would feature prominently on Discovery and the Discovery+ streaming service.

The Magnolia Network features initial seasons of “Fixer Upper: Welcome Home” and “Magnolia Table With Joanna Gaines,” in addition to new shows “Growing Floret,” “The Lost Kitchen,” “Homegrown,” “Family Dinner” and “Restoration Road with Clint Harp” — Joanna’s longtime go-to carpenter.

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In a media statement, the Gaines said the Magnolia Network’s goal is to keep families informed, inspired and entertained.

“That’s what we’ve set out to build … 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,” Chip and Joanna said.

Discovery CEO: SVOD Market Turning into ‘Street Fight’

On the heels of WarnerMedia putting a name (HBO Max) to its pending subscription streaming video service, Disney launching branded service as well as expanding Hulu globally, Discovery CEO David Zaslav says “chasing the same ball” (i.e. scripted digital content) with the world’s biggest media companies is not the company’s focus.

Speaking July 10 with CNBC from the Allen & Co. confab in Sun Valley, Idaho, Zaslav contends the bustling SVOD market is turning into a “street fight” — a scenario he believes Discovery has successfully side-stepped.

“[About] 50% to 60% of the content that people consume is not scripted series or scripted movies,” Zaslav said. “For us, it’s home [HGTV], food [Food Network], Discovery, Oprah, crime [ID], Chip and Joanna Gains [‘Fixer Upper’]. We own most of the golf [programming] in the world, most of the cycling. We have almost all [non-scripted] quality content. And we own it everywhere in the world.”

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With Netflix and Hulu expanding non-scripted programming, including documentaries and food-themed reality TV, Zaslav says Discovery’s market hold on food, home and crime-themed shows is not in threat.

“We’re pretty secure in our space,” he said. “People aren’t buying Netflix to watch a home [improvement] show. We think we have something very differentiated and people come to us for it. They come to us for it on all platforms in all languages.”

Yet, much of HGTV, Food Network, ID and Oprah content is consumed through traditional pay-TV channels — distribution under threat by over-the-top video.

Zaslav agrees the traditional linear TV business is in secular decline. But he said Discovery generated about $3 billion in free cash flow in its most-recent fiscal year.

The executive said Discovery dominates the female non-scripted market in the United States, with OTT video businesses targeting golf (outside the U.S.), cycling and natural history.

“We have a low to mid-single digit growth company, having nothing to do with all of the global IP that we own,” he said. “We think it’s sustainable that we can grow low to mid-single for the next several years.”

Zaslav contends streaming movies and TV shows has become commoditized with Showtime Now, HBO Now, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Apple TV all offering similar content.

“That’s why we did Scripps [Networks] acquisition, because we think people that love food are always going to come to food, people that love home are always going to come to home. So, we think that this is an ecosystem that will work together,” Zaslav said.

With Disney buying Fox, Comcast acquiring Sky and AT&T buying Time Warner, Zaslav dismissed suggestions Discovery would have merge with another major media company to remain competitive.

“We’re the largest independent media company,” he said. “We think some of the assets we have that we’re the largest international media company. We’re in 200 countries.

“But in the long run if we’re wrong, then we have the biggest assortment of IP in affinity groups that people love and we’re in every language around the world. We think that we’re going to win either way. We’ll be more valuable.”

Scripps Networks Programming Returns Discovery to Profitability

Television shows about food, home improvement, buying and selling continue to resonate with viewers and the fiscal bottom line of Discovery Communications.

The media company May 2 reported first-quarter (ended March 31) net income of $384 million compared to a net loss of $8 million during the previous-year period. Revenue increased 40% to $1.4 billion from $1 billion last year.

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Key to the economic turnaround: Discovery’s $14.6 billion acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive in 2017, home to popular Food Network, HGTV (“Flip or Flop,” and “Fixer Upper” stars Chip and Joanna Gaines, etc.), Travel Channel and DIY Network programming.

Discovery is planning new programming and SVOD platforms around the Gaines and their Magnolia brands.

Other quarter highlights included previously reported 10-year global partnership with the BBC for subscription streaming video content as well as a resolution of the UKTV joint venture. Secured a new distribution agreement in the U.S. with YouTube TV, adding to broad inclusion across online TV platforms.

Indeed, Discovery in launching the HGTV brand in Germany and a golf-themed SVOD service (“Golf TV”) overseas with the PGA European Tour.

“In the first quarter we delivered a solid start to 2019, as we continue to power people’s passions through our loved brands and our owned global IP in genres that nourish audiences around the world,” Discovery CEO David Zaslavsaid in a statement.

Discovery Returns to Profitability Following $15B Scripps Networks Purchase

Discovery Feb. 26 reported fourth-quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2018) net income of $265 million following a net loss of $1.1 billion during the previous-year period. Revenue increased 51% to $2.8 billion from $1.85 billion a year earlier.

Spearheading the turnaround was last March’s $15 billion acquisition of Scripps Networks, including coveted brands HGTV, DIY Network, ID, TLC, Animal Planet and Food Network. Discovery also owns stakes in MotorTrend Group and Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).

For the fiscal year, net income reached $594 million compared to a $337 million loss in the previous year. Revenue increased 54% to $10.6 billion from $6.9 billion.

Discovery has also invested hundreds of millions in sports programming in Europe, including Olympics rights and an over-the-top video deal for the PGA European Tour.

It also inked exclusive pay-TV and streaming deals with Chip and Joanna Gaines, the husband and wife team behind the hugely successful “Fixer Upper” franchise, and Christina El Moussa, the prettier half of the now-divorced from “Flip or Flop” husband/co-star Tarek El Moussa.

“2018 was a transformational year for Discovery, highlighted by our operational accomplishments, our strong progress in synergy generation and our overall solid financial performance, as we continued powering people’s passions around the world,” CEO David Zaslav said in a statement. “Discovery is a differentiated global content company, and we are optimistic that we will continue to build on all of our operating momentum to drive additional shareholder value into the future.”