Why are Chip and Jo Gaines really leaving HGTV? Report claims they're after a bigger deal

Jennifer Kline, AOL.com

Fans were shocked last month when Chip and Jo Gaines announced that the upcoming season of their hit HGTV show, "Fixer Upper," would be their last -- but the response was overwhelmingly positive as the couple explained that they "need to take a breath."

However, one insider spilled to Page Six that the family-centric explanation is far from the whole story: The Gaines are reportedly holding out for a better deal with Discovery because HGTV signs its talent to "horrible contracts."

HGTV's restrictive contracts allegedly stem from a past business mistake with Rachael Ray. Scripps, which owns HGTV and Food Network, signed Ray to a relatively loose contract without predicting that she would launch product lines, create a magazine, pen ultra-successful books and nail other huge ventures.

“And so while Food Network turned Rachael Ray into a star, she made tens of millions and Scripps got none of it," the source said. "After Rachael they made sure no talent deal would ever put them in that situation again. Since the Gaineses were relatively unknown when they started, they signed the general Scripps talent contract.”

Scripps is now in the process of being bought by Discovery, and the Gaines are betting that Discovery will offer a much better deal given their massive audience and the fact that "Fixer Upper" is currently HGTV's highest-rated show and biggest ad revenue generator.

Under Scripps contracts, "the talent can't do anything without their approval ... It is awful. And on top of that, Scripps takes a big percentage of everything you make — books, appearances, endorsements, products. If you make money, they take most of the money.”

A rep from HGTV fired back at the claims, telling Page Six, “Of course, this inflammatory information is inaccurate. Chip and Joanna have already shared with their fans why they made their decision and we support them.”

That explanation came in the form of a lengthy post on the Gaines' website in which the couple said they needed to "give lots of love and attention to both our family and our business."