Bell Media goes for Gusto, eyes lifestyle channel launch

The purchase of rights to the Gusto TV brand in Canada will add a food and lifestyle channel to Bell Media's portfolio. (Pictured: Gusto's One World Kitchen)
May 4, 2016

Apparently Canada’s Bell Media was hungry to grow its specialty portfolio.

The broadcaster announced today it has acquired rights to the Gusto TV brand in Canada, and intends to launch a food-focused lifestyle channel in Canada later in 2016.

Until now, Food Network Canada has had a lock on the country’s mainstream food programming market. Bell Media’s new venture will include food programming as well as shows on fashion, travel and lifestyle. Programming will be in 4K and will include Canadian shows as well as global shows acquired by the company.

Bell Media also entered into a multi-year production deal with Gusto Worldwide Media to produce original Canadian shows. Those shows, which include A is for Apple, One World Kitchen (pictured) and Fish the Dish, will be produced in 4K, and Gusto Worldwide Media will retain all rights for markets outside Canada.

Gusto’s content has sold in 30 markets around the world and the company will maintain its growth objectives by continuing to sell content internationally and launching an international OTT service in 2017.

An indie fighting for oxygen in a big-media world, Gusto TV has tried a number of tactics to grow its exposure and reach among younger Canadians since it launched in 2013. Last year it executed Live Feed, a program developed in partnership with a fine-dining establishment in Ottawa, the Beckta Dining and Wine Bar kitchen, where it showed a six-hour-long, commercial-free, behind-the-scenes live telecast of chefs in the kitchen.

The channel has a largely female audience (78%) and 36.5% of its viewership is under the age of 40.

From Media in Canada

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Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.