Which is the Better Channel: Food Network or Oxygen?


The madder a cable network's viewers get, the higher its ratings, so it should be no surprise that last week's battle was our most contentious and ugly one yet! Congratulations to...


Thanks to those of you commenters who offered level-headed responses to this match-up, but I'm gonna skip singling anyone out because the less time spent in that comments section the better. Moving on!


This week on America's Got Cable: Prepare a full-course gourmet meal and then throw it at the nearest hussy!

Background: Food Network was founded way back in 1993 in a partnership between Adelphia, Continental Cablevision, and multimedia corporation the Tribune Company. Interesting, right? Haha, anyway, it was originally known by the even more generic name "TV Food Network" and its purpose was simply to be a single-subject cable channel you'd find in the 400s somewhere. Since then, it's become the most prominent food-based cable channel on the air, attracting a passionate following to its double-tiered schedule—tutorials in the daytime and reality shows in primetime. Food Network's influence is pretty huge today, having launched the TV careers of Emeril Lagasse, Rachael Ray, Guy Fieri, Paula Deen, Mario Batali, Bobby Flay, and Alton Brown, among many others.

Original Programming: In addition to host-centric daytime cooking shows like Barefoot Contessa, Down Home with the Neelys, 30 Minute Meals, Paula's Home Cooking, and tons more, Food Network boasts a highly addictive primetime schedule. Current signature shows include: Chopped, Iron Chef America, Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, Food Network Challenge, The Worst Cooks in America, and Next Food Network Star.

Reruns: Because of the huge array of original programming the Food Network has produced over the past 18 years, its schedule is mostly limited to reruns from its own archives. So basically, you won't be seeing reruns of Fear Factor on here anytime soon.

Why It's The Best: Food Network figured out how to make genuinely engaging programming that's actually educational.

Why It's The Worst: It's kind of tough watching three straight hours of gourmet cooking tutorials and then remembering there's nothing in the refrigerator except dijonaise and Sunny D.

 

Background: The female-centric Oxygen Channel was launched in early 2000 as a joint partnership between a former Nickelodeon executive, the sitcom superproducers behind Roseanne and The Cosby Show, and, most famously, Oprah Winfrey herself. That's right, we don't hear her talking too much about Oxygen anymore, do we? That's because only a few years after launching the channel, she distanced herself from it and later divested herself entirely before it was finally sold to NBCUniversal in 2007. Since then Oxygen has become a sort of go-to for reality shows about faded stars or ill-behaved tramps.

Original Programming: No really, out of the thirteen shows currently listed on the Oxygen website, ALL THIRTEEN are reality shows. Many of them are fashion- or celebrity-oriented, like Jersey Couture, The Glee Project, Hair Battle Spectacular, and newer additions like All About Aubrey and Tori and Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood. Past shows have included the scripted (!) sitcom Campus Ladies and a personal favorite guilty pleasure, the Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency, but the crown jewel of the Oxygen lineup has always been the Bad Girls Club, better known as Why The Terrorists Hate Us.

Reruns: Oxygen's schedule is filled with reruns of things like Law & Order: Criminal Intent, America's Next Top Model, Roseanne and—bless their hearts—Living Single. Plus tons of movies (romantic comedies mostly).

Why It's the Best: Unlike main competitor Lifetime, Oxygen has a youthful, high-spirited appeal and its existence provides the perfect hormonal counterbalance to Spike.

Why It's the Worst: Reality shows aren't going anywhere, but JDMA aside, the least Oxygen could do is produce watchable ones. And do you remember when the network first started and it had that permanent advertising bar at the bottom of the screen? That was pretty ahead of its time, and not in a good way.



Official TV.com Verdict
Easiest decision yet: Food Network for sure.


But now it's your turn! COMMENT BELOW and tell us your verdict: Food Network or Oxygen? And make your case! What do you love or hate about each channel?


Click below to see the full tournament bracket:


Note: Because we started with an odd number of contenders, we gave some of the bigger channels a first-round bye.


Want to catch up on past battles? Head over to the America's Got Cable archives.

Comments (43)
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Jun 23, 2013
food network stabs paula in the back well we can play that game also by boycotting them id rather watch golf than food network now. they can rot in hell. Oprah is offering Paula her own show and it will be a hit. Oprah doesnt make friends with racists and she is a good judge of character so if she is ok with oprah then she should be ok with you
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Mar 17, 2012
Food Network ... have never switched to oxygen ..
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Feb 08, 2012
Between the advertising bar and the constant, awful reality shows I wonder how Oxygen even made it to the 2nd round. Food Network wins even though I find that channel boring as well.
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Feb 06, 2012
Food Network.

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Feb 06, 2012
Food Network.
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Feb 05, 2012
food network :)
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Feb 05, 2012
FOOD!!!!!!!!! Enough said :P (my vote is for The Food Network if you didn't understand)
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Feb 05, 2012
Food Network. I love their show Unwrapped, hosted by Marc Summers.



There's no way I could create any of the fancy dishes that some of the chefs are fond of, since I do good to scramble eggs.
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Feb 05, 2012
Supernatural.



Sorry but I can't be bothered with either of these channels so the perennial alternate vote gets it for me.
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Feb 04, 2012
Food Network
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Feb 04, 2012
"less time spent in that comments section the better" haha Just wait until the CNBC vs. Fox News battle comes up.



Anyway, has for this week, two words: Alton Brown. Food Network FTW!
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Feb 04, 2012
Food Network wins. Oxygen loses not because all they have is reality shows, but because all they have is bad reality shows.
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Feb 04, 2012
Eek. Food Network reminds me that I'll never have all the proper ingredients for anything at the time that I'm watching one of their shows. And it lacks the excessive berating and swearing from chefs like Gordon Ramsay and the drama from those Top Chef folks.



Oxygen is like Lifetime's classless, hipster, younger sister.The one you want to take out Friday and Saturday night but not the one you want to curl up with come Sunday afternoon.



Food Network. Only because I don't want to feel judged for watching The Glee Project, or for missing Janice Dickenson's Modeling Agency, or for marveling over grown up Tootie while watching Living Single. Fine. Oxygen.Final answer.
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Feb 04, 2012
Food network. I love just watching people cook yummy food for horus. Plus they have shows like Unwrapped that tell you the history behind some foods you didn't know about.

Oxygen has way too many reality shows. I hate them all.
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Feb 04, 2012
Food Network

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Feb 04, 2012
Food network. I've never watched Oxygen and I never will....
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Feb 04, 2012
Food netowork all the way in this matchup.
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Feb 04, 2012
Food netowork all the way in this matchup.
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Feb 04, 2012
They are both abominations, but the food network is the lesser evil.
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Feb 04, 2012
food network. no questions. i've learned so much about food and can watch the competitive shows like chopped for hours on end. oxygen has...the glee project? that's the only thing i've ever watched on their anyway.
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Feb 04, 2012
Food Network! For just two reasons: Iron Chef and Alton Brown.
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Feb 04, 2012
Food network. Oxygen is the anti good. Although I did watch the glee project. But still, food network.
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Feb 04, 2012
I don't watch much of either, but I'll choose Food... because I need food to survive.



Oh... wait... damn...



Uh, Food... because eating is more fun than breathing?
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Feb 04, 2012
food network- i makes you smarter and more hungry!
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Feb 04, 2012
Food Network by a mile. Even if FN had nothing but Good Eats reruns, it'd still be better than Oxygen. There's just something shrill and annoying about the way Oxygen carries itself.
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Feb 04, 2012
I heart Alton Brown.
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Feb 04, 2012
Food Network!!!!
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Feb 04, 2012
Maybe it's the Martha Stewart in me, but I'd rather learn how to make a chocolate souffle than see a bunch of starving girls trip over themselves on a runway. Food Network wins by a landslide.
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Feb 04, 2012
Oxygen... it doesn't make me feel bad about my unsophisticated, understocked refrigerator.
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Feb 04, 2012
OMG how can you even compare?

Even though Oxygen has given us hair battle spectacular and the bad girls club, the Food Network has more drama in its fat pinky (Paula Deen!) and actual good shows (all the challange varieties! Chopped!) than all of oxygen combined.



Food Network it is!
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Feb 04, 2012
If this was a way to actually get networks off the air, that would be fantastic. Oxygen is the worst. Food Network gets my vote by about 10000 miles.
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Feb 04, 2012
Food
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Feb 04, 2012
I care not for Oprah, I love food. Food network gets my vote.
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Feb 04, 2012
Definitely Food Network
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Feb 04, 2012
Food Network, Giada De Laurentis, enough said.
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Feb 04, 2012
Amen!
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Feb 04, 2012
Food Network. Their cooking reality shows are so addicting.
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Feb 04, 2012
Oxygen
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Feb 04, 2012
Food Network. I love the cooking shows. If you compared Oxygen to Lifetime, I still wouldn't know who to pick, since I never watch the channels, but at least it would be like against like.
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Feb 04, 2012
Srsly that should be the apples to apple comparison
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Feb 04, 2012
Exactly. Of course, out of the two, I would still pick Food Network!
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Feb 04, 2012
I love food... So Food Network it is.
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Feb 04, 2012
Food Network!!!
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