The corporate home of lifestyle networks HGTV and the Food Network became the latest television company to dive into broadband programming with Thursday's launch of a network devoted to kitchen renovations.
HGTV Kitchen Design has a library of 200 programs on kitchen design, and will include a feature that allows computer users to get online tips geared to the specific size of their own kitchens.
It's the first of what the Scripps Networks hopes is about five broadband networks that it will start over the next 18 months. Others in the works are online channels on gardening, woodworking and healthy eating, said John Lansing, Scripps Networks president.
A handful of television networks have started Internet offshoots this year, including Comedy Central's Motherload and MTV Overdrive, hoping to establish their brands as the business expands. The rapid growth in homes with broadband capability and interest by advertisers in Internet-only programming has helped fuel the growth.
The knowledge that people seeking to renovate their kitchens have a concentrated need for information and are willing to spend money is what made HGTVKitchenDesign.com a solid starting point, Lansing said.
"It's second only to buying a house for most families in terms of making an investment," he said.
Besides the video content, Scripps has plans to invite companies that make kitchen products like cabinets or faucets to create their own infomercials.
Along with traditional banner ads, Scripps would like to develop classifieds for people and companies active in the business, he said.
"What you're really doing when you're building a broadband channel is building a community," Lansing said. "There must be something about the channel that can be tangibly used by the consumer."
Comedy Central and MTV, like CBSNews.com, are owned by Viacom.
By David Bauder