Discovery Launching ‘HGTV’ Brand in Germany

Discovery Communications, beginning June 6, is launching its popular HGTV home improvement network in Germany — the first international bow for the brand since it was acquired in 2018 (along with Food Network and Travel Channel) from Scripps Networks for $12 billion.

The No. 3 pay-TV network in the United States comes to Germany featuring more than 500 hours of programming, including legacy series, “Flip or Flop,” “Fixer Upper,” “House Hunters,” “My Lottery Dream Home” and “Good Bones,” among others.

The network will be offered on linear ad-supported TV, despite the fact Discovery partnered with ProSiebenSat.1 last summer to build a subscription streaming video service featuring live TV, local and Hollywood movies and TV shows, and sports.

“We are incredibly excited to be announcing the launch of HGTV in Germany and start using our scale and expertise across [Europe, Middle East and Africa] to expand HGTV and other key real-life entertainment brands into new territories and reach millions of new people,” Kasia Kieli, president & managing director, Discovery EMEA, said in a statement.

For Susanna Aigner-Drews, SVP & GM Germany/Austria/Switzerland at Discovery, HGTV represents one of the last ad-supported broadcast TV network on German television.

Susanne Aigner-Drews

“In a highly fragmented TV market, there are not many niches to prove,” Aigner-Drews told SZ.de.

While house flipping is rare, home ownership in Germany sits at about 51%, compared to about 65% in the U.S. HGTV in Germany will initially focus on its American/Canadian shows, with German-centric programming to follow.

“TLC [The Learning Channel] has [finally] arrived in Germany after five years,” Aigner-Drews said. “We will have the [necessary] patience with Home & Garden TV.”

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.”