Mipcom 2009 – Cannes. Scripps Networks Interactive is launching the Food Network on Sky on November 9 in a joint venture with Chello Zone.
“We are going to give Living and others a run for their money,” said Greg Moyer, president of the company’s international development subsidiary, Scripps Networks International. The Food Network will be part of the basic tier. “This is the first of what we hope will be many ventures to expand the global footprint of Scripps Networks Interactive.”
Arguably it is UKTV’s Good Food channel that will be the most concerned by the launch. The former UKTV Food also boasts Britain’s most popular commercial food website. In continental Europe BBC Lifestyle has replaced BBC Food.
Under terms of the deal, Scripps Networks Interactive will have controlling interest in the joint venture, while Chello Zone, which is based in London, will be responsible for Food Network’s operations across Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Financial terms of the joint venture were not disclosed with today’s announcement.
The launch of Food is just the start of an international expansion drive of Scripps Networks, who operate a number of channels in the USA including the Food Network, Home & Garden Television, DIY, FLN (Fine Living Network) and Great American Country, a country music channel.
Later this year, or possibly early 2010, a special EMEA version of the Food Network will also launch. The launch is dependent on the carriage deal Scripps can secure. Distribution will be handled by Chello Zone.
For Food, Moyer expects to have 15 million homes by year’s end including the BSkyB footprint.
Following Food, the next channel to launch in Europe will be FLN. Details of this launch and that of Food in the EMEA region can be expected in the next few weeks.
Moyer expects to roll out both SD and HD of the channels. “We are producing about 1,500 hours of original programming a year for our channels and all of it is produced in HD.”