CINCINNATI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 5, 2009-- Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. (NYSE: SNI), which has identified international expansion as one of its key growth strategies, will launch Food Network in Europe, Africa and the Middle East through a joint venture with Chello Zone.
The new Food Network channel, which will be programmed and versioned for specific countries, is expected to launch in the United Kingdom on Sky during the fourth quarter of this year and begin rolling out to the other territories in early 2010.
Chello Zone is the leading international thematic channel arm of Chellomedia, the content subsidiary of Liberty Global Inc.
"This is the first of what we hope will be many ventures to expand the global footprint of Scripps Networks Interactive," said Greg Moyer, president of the company's international development subsidiary, Scripps Networks International. "Food Network is an obvious and logical choice for international distribution given its universal appeal and tremendous brand power. Our objective is to aggregate an engaged and growing audience of passionate -˜foodies' across the globe."
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.
Plans for the international version of the Food Network include original programming from the countries and regions it will reach, as well as relevant shows that were produced for U.S. audiences.
Food Network will launch in the UK with popular and well-known faces such as Duff Goldman, Ina Garten and Rachael Ray. Original programming on the network will include the international hit series Iron Chef America which features world-class chefs such as Mario Batali, Jamie Oliver, Bobby Flay and Masaharu Morimoto. Also included in the launch lineup will be a new series -- The Best Thing I Ever Ate -- featuring famous chefs including Danny Boome, Giada De Laurentiis, Robert Irvine and Rocco DiSpirito.
"Scripps Networks has a vast library of lifestyle programming that is respected the world over, particularly the entertaining, high-quality food content that continues to climb in popularity and break ratings records in its native U.S.," said Dermot Shortt, chief executive officer for Chello Zone. "I'm certain that Chello Zone's broadcast partners and viewers across Europe, Africa and the Middle East will be delighted to experience first-hand the engaging shows and the entertaining personalities who make Food Network the huge success that it is."
Scripps Networks Interactive is the majority and controlling owner of the Food Network in the United States. Available in more than 99 million U.S. television households, Food Network has been widely credited for redefining the television food genre and for launching the careers of many of the country's best-known celebrity chefs. Previously, the company concentrated on syndicating its branded programming internationally. Scripps Networks programming has been successfully syndicated to 170 countries.
Scripps Networks Interactive also owns and operates other popular lifestyle television networks in the U.S., including HGTV, DIY Network, Fine Living Network and the Great American Country television network.
The joint venture with Chello Zone represents a new direction for the company's international development efforts, which are now focused on identifying distribution and programming partners around the globe and investing in existing or new lifestyle channels.
This is the third significant joint venture deal in the past 24 months for Chello Zone, which has previously announced a partnership with HIT Entertainment for JimJam, and more recently with CBS Studios International for their branded portfolio of U.K. entertainment channels.
About Scripps Networks Interactive
Scripps Networks Interactive is one of the leading developers of lifestyle-oriented content for television and the Internet, where on-air programming is complemented with online video, social media areas and e-commerce components on companion Web sites and broadband vertical channels. The company's media portfolio includes: Lifestyle Media, with popular lifestyle television and Internet brands HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, Fine Living Network (FLN) and country music network Great American Country; and Interactive Services, with leading online search and comparison shopping services BizRate and Shopzilla.
About Chello Zone
Chello Zone is a leading international broadcaster and creator of bespoke thematic television channels. Its portfolio of nine owned and operated channels includes Zone Reality, Zone Romantica, Zone Club, Zone Horror, Zone Thriller, Zone Fantasy, Extreme Sports Channel, the Hollywood Channel and pre-school channel JimJam (a joint venture with HIT Entertainment). Chello Zone channels reach audiences in more than 300 million homes across 125 countries and in 23 languages. Chello Zone is a business unit of international media company Chellomedia, part of Liberty Global, Inc., the world's leading international cable operator. For more information, visit www.chellozone.com.
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Source: Scripps Networks Interactive Inc.
Scripps Networks Interactive
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