• SBS is set to launch Australia’s first free-to-air television channel dedicated to the world of food
SBS food will become SBS’s fourth free-to-air channel when it launches on SBS 3 in November, joining the portfolio of SBS, SBS 2 and NITV.
The new channel will broadcast 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will be available on SBS 3. Content from the channel will also available to catch up online on SBS On Demand.
The channel launch date, channel name and schedule of programs, will be revealed in the coming weeks.
SBS managing director Michael Ebeid said: “SBS’s unique purpose, to inspire all Australians to explore and appreciate the diverse world we live in, is at the heart of this exciting new channel.
“The channel will take one of our strongest and well-known genres to new heights. We know how much audiences love to be taken on a journey of culinary and cultural discovery with our food shows every Thursday night. This new channel is an opportunity to extend that offering with a world of food programming available all day, every day, for free.
“SBS’s charter drives all the decisions we make. As we face funding pressures and an increasingly competitive market, we need to find new ways to bring audiences the best content from around the world and create a commercial return to continue to fund high quality Australian programs on our main SBS channels.
“This channel also builds on our success bringing movies acquired from around the world to Australian audiences through our subscription channel World Movies.”
SBS chief content officer Helen Kellie added: “Whether you’re passionate about food, or just take pleasure in family cooking and eating with friends, our new channel will be a daily destination for your love of everyday food. As well as bringing some of the world’s most popular programs in the genre to local audiences, the new channel will help SBS to continue discovering and nurturing Australian talent and developing new programs. It’s an exciting new extension to SBS’s food, travel and culture offer for audiences.”
SBS has entered in to a major output deal and licensing agreement with Scripps Networks Interactive, the world’s leading producer of high quality engaging lifestyle content. Scripps Networks will supply programming from across the food category including cooking competitions, culinary adventures and home entertaining.
“Australia is an important market for Scripps Networks and a key driver of growth for our business in the region,” said Derek Chang, managing director, Asia-Pacific, Scripps Networks Interactive.
“SBS already has a long history of delivering great food content to Australian audiences – and this collaboration is a strategic move to bring together two powerful brands to deliver even more engaging and entertaining food programming from around the world to more homes across the continent,” Chang added.
Scripps Networks’ global lifestyle media portfolio includes popular brands Food Network, Cooking Channel, Asian Food Channel, HGTV, DIY Network, Fine Living Network, Travel Channel and Great American Country. Scripps Networks reaches more than 300 million homes in 175 countries and territories around the world and produces more than 2,500 new hours of original programming each year.
Photos: SBS’s current foodies include Luke Nguyen (left) and Shane Deliah