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HGTV Canada touts female demos

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TORONTO -- Riding the country's property boom with popular real estate shows, HGTV Canada (Home and Garden TV) has jumped into first place among Canadian cable channels in the race for female viewers ages 25-54, parent Alliance Atlantis Communications said Thursday.

Toronto-based broadcaster Alliance Atlantis, recently acquired by Goldman Sachs & Co. and Canadian partner CanWest Global Communications, said that HGTV Canada in the last year surged from second place into first in the female 25-54 demo by surpassing rival W Network, Canada's womens' cable channel, owned and operated by Corus Entertainment.

Alliance Atlantis said April 2-June 24 Nielsen numbers for HGTV Canada indicate a year-to-year 26% surge in 25-54 viewership, with its weekly reach currently standing at 3.1 million viewers.

The Nielsen numbers spotlight growing appeal among female viewers for homegrown real estate shows like "Buy Me," "Location, Location, Location" and "House Hunters," all stripped Monday to Friday, while traditional home-renovation shows like "Holmes on Homes" do better among male viewers than women.

For its part, the W Network insists it remains atop the 18+, 18-34 and 18-49 demos, and is in a virtual tie with HGTV Canada in the 25-54 demo.