Canwest bows DIY Canada

The penny-conscious do-it-yourself channel will lift much of its schedule from HGTV, steered by Emily Morgan.

DIY Canada arrives Monday amid a tumultuous time for both its audience and its parent Canwest.

In light of the current economic slump, the ‘hard-core home improvement’ channel offers viewers ways to ‘cut costs and increase the value of their homes,’  says Canwest’s lifestyle SVP Karen Gelbart. Although Canwest iteself has become somewhat of an authority on cashflow issues, its lucrative specialty channels are exempt from last week’s filing for creditor protection.

DIY arrives in Canada 10 years after it was established in the US under Scripps Networks, which also owns the lifestyle channels HGTV and Food Network, Canuck versions of which are also under the Canwest umbrella. Canwest’s Emily Morgan, VP of content for Food Network Canada and HGTV Canada, will also program DIY. The channel will launch with familiar HGTV-commissioned shows such as the homegrown Real Renos – now in its seventh season – and Junk Brothers. Other shows on DIY’s schedule include Sweat Equity, about increasing the value of your home in just two weekends, and the reno series Kitchen Impossible.

DIY’s target audience is mostly females aged 25 to 54, though Gelbart notes the channel is particularly male-friendly because of all the project-driven shows, in addition to male-focused fare such as Cool Tools and Man Cave.

Its 15% Canadian content will be filled with programming from HGTV. ‘It has built up a sizable inventory over the years, so there are some programs that are perfect for sharing with DIY,’ Gelbart points out. ‘HGTV has diversified its programming over the years to include more property and design shows,’ Gelbart says, adding that its prime-time lineup, for example, airs more story-focused reality shows like Family Renovation – while DIY will be very information driven.

HGTV has, itself, recently turned away from the showcasing the house-flipping and bidding wars of better times to instead focus on more modest home improvements.

From Playback Daily