This Old House will start its 43rd season Thursday (Sept. 30) with two new streaming channels, courtesy of Roku.
Roku acquired the company that produces This Old House and Ask This Old House (starting its 20th season) in March for $97.8 million.
The acquisition is resulting in 13 more episodes of each series this season (39 per show) and new distribution options, Dan Suratt, VP of This Old House for Roku, told Broadcasting+Cable.
“We knew this was going to be a huge opportunity for us to expand not only the amount of content production, but also the reach and scale of that production,” Suratt said, adding that there could be even more episodes in future seasons.
Acquiring This Old House is part of Roku’s effort to put more original programming on its platform.
Starting Oct. 12, a This Old House premium subscription channel — Roku’s first owned subscription channel — will be available for $4.99 a month. Subscribers will be able to watch new episodes of both shows commercial free at the same time they have their debuts on PBS. They will also have access to a deep selection from the This Old House and Ask This Old House library. Roku is offering the channel with a 14-day free trial.
Suratt said the $4.99 price is in line with what others are charging for premium content. The subscription service will be available on other streaming platforms in the near future, he added.
Roku is also starting up a This Old House Classic linear channel that will be available through The Roku Channel’s Live TV Channel Guide. This Old House Classic will feature seasons one through 12 (including episodes with Bob Vila) and seasons one through five of Ask This Old House.
“It’s new and classic all in one,” Suratt observed.
The two new channels will accompany the This Old House Channel, which has been streaming on The Roku Channel since 2019.
The Roku Channel will have the current season of the shows available on demand for free, plus four additional seasons.
There are seven This Old House free streaming channels on various platforms, and Roku will be looking to syndicate This Old House Classic to other platforms, Suratt said.
“It’s a great opportunity for a brand that has had such a storied past to have the leader in streaming technology and delivery of content to be our parent to allow us not only to distribute more widely but also create more content,” he said.
This Old House has proved its popularity with streamers. Of the 200 linear channels available through The Roku Channel This Old House is one of the top 20 linear channels by hours streamed from Jan. 1 through Sept. 1, Suratt said.
Streaming hours of This Old House and Ask This Old House have gone up nearly 50% in the first six months since Roku bought the show, compared to the six months before the acquisition, he added.
That will only be helped by a promotional campaign set to launch in mid-October.
The show is also popular with advertisers. The move to Roku has made this old house more aggressive about selling sponsorships. Already it has added Amica Mutual Insurance as a sponsor, joining long-time underwriters like Home Depot.
Season 43 of This Old House starts with an old house in Concord. Other than the increased number of episodes, Suratt said the show’s formula isn’t changing. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and I think 43 years kind of shows it ain’t broke,” Suratt said.
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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.