The Canadian version features much of the same programming as the U. channel, along with domestically-produced programs—some of which have also been picked up by the U. On 27 June 2016, HGTV launched in New Zealand as a free-to-air channel on the Freeview terrestrial platform.
On 24 August 2016, HGTV launched on the Freeview satellite platform and on Sky.
This results in the appearance of black bars on the top and bottom of the screen on 4:3 aspect ratio televisions; its high-definition channel displays the channel's programming in its native aspect ratio.
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Using local Scripps cable franchises (which have since been divested), the Federal Communications Commission "must carry" provisions of Scripps medium-market television stations, and other small television operators to gain cable carriage, the channel launched on December 1, 1994.
The major programming themes, unchanged since the beginning, were home building and remodeling, landscaping and gardening, decorating and design, and crafts and hobbies.
On November 5, 2010, AT&T U-verse dropped the DIY Network, Cooking Channel, Food Network, Great American Country and HGTV, due to a carriage dispute with Scripps Networks.
In many cases, the final decision and purchase were made prior to filming.
About 90 percent of the channel's programming consisted of original productions at launch, with ten percent licensed and rerun from Canadian channels, PBS, and other sources.
Burton Jablin, as Vice President of Programming, set the tone and oversaw the production of the early series.
The standard definition feed of the channel began to carry the full 16:9 aspect ratio downgraded from the HD feed in a letterboxed format in early 2013.
On December 31, 2009, Scripps Networks Interactive removed the Food Network and HGTV from New York City-area cable provider Cablevision, on the day that its carriage contract was set to expire.
The network debuted with a skeletal staff, but with gradual acceptance by other cable operators, it now reaches 94 million households in the United States and has either partner networks, or network interests, in Canada, Japan, and elsewhere. Scripps Company spun off the channel and the other Scripps cable channels and web-based properties into a separate company, Scripps Networks Interactive; E. Scripps broadcast television and newspaper properties remain as part of the original company.