Food Network Heads Overseas

Food Network's Iron Chef America

Food Network, which has syndicated programming to a range of international channels for some time, is launching the first network outside the U.S. comprised entirely of its content.

The channel is slated to debut in the U.K. this year, via distributor Sky, which reaches an estimated 9 million homes.

Next year, localized versions of Food Network are also expected to launch in other European countries, Africa and the Middle East.

Chello Zone, an operator of international networks and part of Liberty Global, will manage Food Network abroad as part of a joint venture with Scripps Networks Interactive. SNI, which also owns HGTV, will have a controlling interest in the partnership, although terms of the deal were not disclosed.

A joint venture deal was also recently struck by Chello Zone to operate multiple CBS-branded channels in the U.K. that are expected to reach some 13 million homes.



Chello oversees ad sales for its various networks, although it does employ local arms for assistance. Not all U.S.-based channels run a full slate of ads in international markets, deriving revenues mostly from carriage fees.

SNI is looking to international expansion to drive its business. It has licensed programming to various international channels, but never had a full 24/7 network. That's a model it is looking to switch to, by either distributing networks itself or finding partners.

Programming on the U.K. Food Network will include "Iron Chef America," as well as shows fronted by Rachael Ray and Ina Garten.

Chello Zone runs channels in 125 countries in 23 languages.

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