From home renovations to restoration competitions, and house flipping to property hunting, HGTV is the network to watch for all things home and garden. If you’re a DirecTV subscriber trying to tune into HGTV, you may run into trouble trying to pin down the exact channel number. Thankfully, HGTV is the same station on DirecTV across the country. We’ll help you find it — as well as explain what kinds of shows you might find on HGTV on an average day.
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HGTV Channel Guide
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The History of HGTV
HGTV — short for Home & Garden Television — first hit the airwaves in December 1994. It was founded by Ken Lowe, a radio executive at The E. W. Scripps Company at the time. His goal for the new network was simple: a station focused entirely on gardening and home improvement programming. Other networks had aired similar programming before, but never before had audiences seen a network dedicated solely to home and garden shows. Naturally, it was a hit — among both homeowners and non-homeowners alike.
In 1997, HGTV had grown large enough to warrant a couple of major changes. For one, Lowe and Co. set their sights on the Food Network — another fast-growing television station with around-the-clock niche programming. Instead of homes and gardens, the Food Network focuses on cooking and food competition shows. Now in possession of more than 50% of the Food Network, Scripps became an even more powerful player in the broadcast television space. It launched the DIY Network in 1999, a spinoff of HGTV that proved just as successful.
In the late 2000s, Scripps formed Scripps Networks Interactive — a mass media company in possession of majority stakes in the Cooking Channel, the DIY Network, the Food Network, GAC, and, of course, HGTV. This list of popular channels shared assets and on-air personalities alike, helping to create a house style of sorts that translated well into the company’s sale to Discovery, Inc. in the late 2010s. Just a few years later, Discovery acquired Warner Bros. Now, HGTV remains an important part of the company’s catalog of TV stations.
HGTV Sister Stations
On a typical day, you’re likely to encounter one of two types of programming on HGTV: original productions or syndicated broadcasts. A vast majority of these originals take place here in the United States, while the syndicated shows typically hail from HGTV Canada. Both types of programming are enormously successful on HGTV, with some viewers not even realizing they’re watching something not made in the States. Let’s review some popular shows from each programming type below.
HGTV owes its ongoing success to its strong library of original shows. These shows fall under a couple of different types: hosted shows with familiar on-air personalities, and host-less ones that rely on a narrator to move the program along.
Examples of the former include Home Town with Ben and Erin Napier and Good Bones with Karen E. Laine and Mina Starsiak Hawk. Examples of the latter include House Hunters and Beachfront Bargain Hunt. On any given day, you might find episodes from a variety of these hit shows. Other popular originals include My Lottery Dream Home, which follows recent lottery winners in search of a new house to purchase with their earnings, and Windy City Rehab, which tracks renovations in the city of Chicago, Illinois.
Not all of HGTV’s shows come from America. It also has a handful of popular Canadian broadcasts that many viewers don’t even realize take place in other parts of North America beyond the U.S. Love It or List It and Property Brothers are two of the most iconic examples of this. Both shows now blur the lines between the U.S. and Canadian properties in newer episodes.
Renovation Island and Vacation House Rules are two more recent examples of Canadian syndicated broadcasts airing on HGTV. Renovation Island can pass as an American production because it takes place at a vacation resort in the Bahamas. Vacation House Rules takes place in and around Ontario, Canada, which easily passes for parts of Minnesota, Michigan, and upstate New York.
What About the DIY Network?
The DIY Network began as a spinoff of HGTV in September 1999. Its name originates from the channel’s original intention: to give viewers do-it-yourself instructions for home renovations. While it now goes by a different name, The Magnolia Network still retains much of the original spirit of the station. This is thanks in large part to the station’s new programmers, Chip and Joanna Gaines. Audiences know these two on-air personalities best for their popular HGTV house-flipping show Fixer Upper. It has since grown into a true empire for the two.
The DIY Network started to get away from its HGTV origins when the network was acquired by Discovery in 2018. In 2019, it was made official. Chip and Jo would take control of the DIY Network in 2020 and rebrand it as the Magnolia Network. The station would still focus on home renovation and design shows. But, it would also incorporate new food and lifestyle shows that fit the popular Magnolia brand. The network later pushed its official rebranding until 2021, then again until January of the following year. It finally went live on January 5th, 2022.
Today, the Magnolia Network operates like a hybrid of HGTV, the Food Network, and the DIY Network. Some DIY staples such as Barnwood Builders, This Old House reruns, and Building Off the Grid even continue to air on Chip and Jo’s Magnolia Network. Programming includes Gaines-fronted programs Fixer Upper: Welcome Home and Magnolia Table with Joanna Gaines. They air alongside new shows such as The Lost Kitchen, Restoration Road, and Inn the Works. Needless to say, fans of other Warner Bros. Discovery networks will likely find something they enjoy.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Warner Bros. Discovery.