The Food Network is losing popularity

Food Network Sign

The N.Y. Post published today some news that we thought our members would find interesting. According to recent ratings, the "Food Network shed 17 percent of its audience during the 12 months through April 30.  The average primetime show on the cable channel, which features such series as "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives," slipped to 1.06 million." Also interesting, by contrast HGTV (Home and Garden TV) showed a 10% increase in viewers.  We're not sure quite what it means, but given that Food Network has almost completely abandoned cooking shows for competition and other specialty shows (although it still does deal entirely with food), maybe viewers are getting a little tired of the cupcake wars.

And while we're on the subject, for those who'd like to understand the Food Network better, Forbes just published an interesting article, "Why There's No 'Cooking with Honey Boo Boo' on Food Network." It's a history of the network, and does indicate that there is a line beyond which the Food Network won't go: "At the end of the day,"says Lowe, "you have to stand for something."

8 Comments

  • CSShopper  on  5/4/2013 at 5:34 PM

    Maybe if they played some actual cooking shows, they might regain some audience. I have absolutely no interest in competition shows, and that seems to be all they air now.

  • PinchOfSalt  on  5/4/2013 at 8:45 PM

    I used to watch Food Network because there were shows I could learn from. Not any more (and there are still plenty of things I could learn about cooking!)

  • sfcarole  on  5/4/2013 at 9:11 PM

    I completely agree with the above posts. A previous blog on this site raised a similar issue.http://www.eatyourbooks.com/blog/2013/3/20/two-tirades-against-food-television#comments

  • DenimBlue  on  5/5/2013 at 10:11 PM

    Almost every time I turn on the FN channel, one of the same two or three shows will be on: Chopped, Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, or Cupcake Wars. We like Guy, so that one's not boring to us, but the others are getting really old. In fact, I never liked Cupcake Wars.

  • bookpoet  on  5/6/2013 at 4:57 PM

    That Bob guy at the food network has to go. His tastes determine the tenor and tone of the FoodNetwork. He's not Bob Costa and it isn't a sports channel (we have plenty of those). All those competition-with-food-as-the-ball shows make me jumpy. With Cupcake Wars the FoodNetwork jumped the shark. I've taken to DVR'ing cooking shows on the Cooking Channel (some of them are delightful) and to purchasing and viewing masses of DVDs of classic cooking shows. You know, the kind where people actually cook. And talk about culture and history and all of that. There's a huge interest in this entire topic now - The Great Courses (a company which made its mark filming the top college professors in the country giving lectures on their specialties) has just released a 'how-to-cook' DVD and a 'how-to-bake' DVD and both have been extraordinarily successful. Their latest lecture series is entitled: "Food: A Cultural Culinary History." I'll own it soon, and will watch those 36 half-hour lectures rather than watch the FoodNetwork. There's a market for great food TV - the only question is who will fill it.

  • Jan  on  6/10/2013 at 9:50 PM

    I stopped watching FN a couple of years ago. The final straw for me was when they started promoting The Pioneer Woman Cooks. They scraped the bottom of the barrel with that one and other "watch me make jello and toast" shows. Do these new "cooking stars" pay FN to air their shows?

  • joy  on  6/23/2013 at 7:54 PM

    Its more about the show and the chefs than the cooking. FN should apologize to Paula Deen, publicly, on television just like she did and offer to renew her contract. In a perfect world she would turn down the offer

  • Peggy  on  6/25/2013 at 12:40 AM

    Sorry you dropped her.

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