More people watched HGTV than CNN in 2016 because the news is depressing

Spent your holiday season watching couples bicker about whether they prefer to live near the ocean or the city? Well according to Bloomberg, you weren’t alone: HGTV (the Home and Garden channel, for lay people) was the third most watched cable network of 2016, ranking behind only ESPN and Fox News and ahead of CNN.

The reason for its popularity? The cozy familiarity of its content, which anyone who has watched a “House Hunters” episode knows has a laughably repetitive structure (the network calls it “consistent”). Couple buys house, couple renovates house, house looks great. Repeat. At a time when the only thing consistent about the news is that it’s depressing and unpredictable, we certainly see the appeal of that. To use a 2017 buzzword, it’s pure hygge.

“We’re not going to surprise you,” the CEO of HGTV told Bloomberg. “We’re not going to throw you a curve ball. It’s not easy to create content that people are passionate about and somewhat addicted to that is somewhat repetitive.”

After all, the news may come and go, but peeping into other people’s beautiful homes? That’s forever. [Bloomberg]

Tags: TV