DIY Slates $15M to Launch Digital Net


E.W. Scripps Co.'s spinoff network, Do-It-Yourself, will
debut early next year with roughly 20 percent to 30 percent original programming, offering
a schedule that will include first-run hosted segments and three-hour, topic-specific
blocks, officials said last week.

DIY is envisioned as a digital or analog how-to network
that will give viewers step-by-step information on topics ranging from home improvement
and gardening to cooking and crafts. In addition to original fare, DIY's lineup will
include repackaged programming from its sister networks, Home & Garden Television and
Food Network.

Scripps expects to invest $15 million in DIY in the next
three to five years to take the fledgling network to the breakeven point, according to
Susan Packard, HGTV's chief operating officer.

She said that unlike other networks that will wind up on
digital, DIY is being programmed with viewer needs in mind from the beginning, based in
part on a consumer database that HGTV has been keeping.

"Some of the other guys [programmers] are using a
shelf-space strategy with digital," she said. "We are taking a different
approach in looking at what the viewer wants. And the viewer wants detailed, step-by-step

DIY will be airing three-hour blocks, with hosts, that will
cover specific topics in detail, said Ed Spray, HGTV's executive vice president. For
example, one such block might be on decks, covering their design, what kind of wood they
should be made of and how they should be cleaned. A host will guide viewers through and
connect those segments, which would include library programming, as well as new material,
Spray said.

Like several other programmers launching digital networks,
Scripps is forming a close link between DIY and its Internet site, where viewers will be
able to find detailed information, such as a guide for building a deck or recipes from a
program block on cooking.

Eventually, Scripps would like to see DIY offered on a
variety of platforms, including video-on-demand.

Although DIY launches in the first quarter of next year, it
will offer viewers a sneak preview in the fourth quarter by airing some of its programming
on HGTV, Packard said.

Scripps is also testing the waters for another network, HG
Pro, which would be aimed at professionals in the shelter industry, such as builders,
designers, architects, contractors and landscapers. The network would court
business-to-business advertisers.

"We're incubating that here," Packard said.

Scripps will test the concept by doing a pilot that will
air on HGTV sometime this year, Spray said.

Scripps will give cable operators two minutes per hour of
local avails on DIY. It is urging MSOs to target local advertisers such as supermarkets,
hardware stores, craft stores, gardening centers and furniture sellers.