HGTV: Diversity On TV Means Money

NPR ran a great report today about how HGTV — that’ Home and Garden Television — was able to boost viewership by featuring Latinos, African Americans and Asians in roles that aren’t stereotyped, but rather educated professionals. Most of the shows on this channel are about redecorating homes or renovating them, but HGTV does what many networks say is impossible, feature minorities who aren’t poor, uneducated, thugs, immigrants, etc.

The story notes that five years ago when they realized that their programming was not reflective of ethnic minorities, they made changing this a priority, since, HGTV has been more successful in several ways:

  • 20% increase in primetime audience
  • 50% increase in African American audiences
  • One of the most popular shows among home-owning African Americans
  • Higher than average viewership among Latino audiences

So, just to recap, one network made diversity a priority and saw only gains. Why aren’t more networks and studios doing this? After all, Latinos go to the movies more often than the general population and Latinos lead in new technology purchases (Blu-ray anyone?), so you think it would make sense for companies that produce media for consumption to target a group already known to consume this media, right? I guess wrong, doesn’t seem to make much sense to me, what do you think?

Follow Sara Inés Calderón on Twitter @SaraChicaD

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