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Destination America Goes On a Hawaii House Hunt

Will Bring 'Buying' Franchise To Aloha State 12/02/2013 12:00 AM Eastern

Destination America is buying into the real-estate genre this month with plans to launch a third iteration of its popular Buying franchise.

The Discovery Communications outlet Monday (12/2) launched Buying Hawaii, which follows a prospective buyer to three unique properties amid the extreme climates, beach retreats and volcanos that surround the 50th state, network general manager Marc Etkind said. The series follows on the heels of sophomore series Buying Alaska and freshman effort Buying the Bayou, the network’s second- and third-most watched shows, respectively, during the fourth quarter.

Buying Alaska, which showcases houses in the most remote areas of the state, has reached more than 5.7 million viewers in its second season. Buying the Bayou — which looks at swamp-area dwellings — has reached some 3.1 million viewers in its debut campaign; Destination America recently picked up a second season.

The Buying franchise, and the real-estate genre in general, fit in well with Destination America’s brand and its 25-to-54-year-old audience, Etkin said.

“We’ve been able to pick very American locations — places that maybe you might want to live but may never have a chance to, so it fits our brand perfectly,” he said. “It’s not just shows about a house; it’s a show about a lifestyle and about a way of life and how people live in these areas.”

Destination America’s deep dive into the real-estate genre continues an industry trend that has remained strong over recent months. Vanilla Ice Goes Amish finished its first season earlier this month as DIY’s toprated series, averaging more than 250,000 viewers. That’s more than double the network’s October primetime average, according to Nielsen.

TLC recently threw its hat into the cable real estate ring, launching on Nov. 20 series dubbed Buying Naked, which explores the real estate market within a nudist community.

Also, industry sources have said that A+E Networks plans to rebrand digital channel Bio as a lifestyle network focused on real estate. It’s unclear whether the network will be rebranded before the end of 2013 or early 2014.

A+E executives would not comment on the matter.

Etkind said the growing number of real estatethemed shows on cable does concern him from a competition standpoint, but added the audience’s appetite for the genre remains strong.

“We were in a couple of years of a depressed real estate market, but I think we’re feeling a little bit more comfortable and beginning to wonder again what it would be like to live in our dream house our in another destination,” he said.

TAKEAWAY

Destination America’s Buying Hawaii is just the latest entry in cable’s red-hot real-estate category.

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