Scripps Networks Interactive has announced that its Food Network is going international, with launches planned for Europe, the Middle East and Africa through a joint venture with Chello Zone.
The international expansion for Scripps was first announced at a special press dinner held Sunday evening before MIPCOM by Scripps Networks International president Greg Moyer. First, a new Food Network channel will be launching in the UK through BSkyB in the fourth quarter of ’09, featuring original programming staples such as Iron Chef America as well as a new series, The Best Thing I Ever Ate. In addition to content from the current Food Network catalogue, specific UK conent will be commisioned and acquired. Moyer said a general manager for the UK channel will be hired by next year, if not necessarily in time for launch. The channel will air for 24 hours daily, beginning in eight-hour cycles.
After the UK, the Food Network will next launch in Europe, the Middle East and Africa in early 2010 through the joint venture deal with Chello Zone, an international thematic arm of Liberty Global Inc. content subsidiary Chellomedia. As with the UK channel, original localized programming will feature in each territory, as will relevant programming produced for U.S. audiences.
‘Food Network is an obvious and logical choice for international distribution given its universal appeal and tremendous brand power,’ said Moyer. ‘Our objective is to aggregate an engaged and growing audience of passionate foodies across the globe.’
Scripps Networks Interactive will have controlling interest in the joint venture, while London-based Chello Zone will be responsible for Food Network’s operations across Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Financial terms of the joint venture were not revealed with the announcement.
Moyer said that the next Scripps brands expected to roll out internationally will be HGTV and FLN (formerly the Fine Living Network).