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SBS to launch dedicated 24 hour food channel

SBS Food - Destination Flavour Japan Source: SBS Food

SBS will dish up its fourth free-to-air channel, dedicated to the food genre, later this year.

Celebrating cultural diversity through the love of food credited as key motivator behind SBS’s fourth free-to-air channel.

The 24/7 channel will combine original SBS content with programs from around the world, sampling a wide-variety of tastes and cultures, in a bid to attract key demographics like women to the network.

Managing Director Michael Ebeid believes it is a chance for SBS to “celebrate diversity” through food.

“This provides a window into the world’s cultures in so many ways,” Mr Ebeid said during today’s announcement.

“Food is one genre which has been very successful for us. Now is the right time for us to do this.”

Access to further international cooking programs has come off the back of an output deal and licensing agreement with Scripps Networks Interactive.

The lifestyle media network reaches 175 countries, and will add 2,500 more hours of content a year.

Successful locally produced SBS programs such as Destination Flavour, Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen Notebook, and the Luke Nguyen series will also feature prominently. SBS says generating more of its own content is also on the cards.

“We will certainly look at opportunities to co-produce content going forward,” Mr Ebeid said.

“We see it as a very big scale opportunity,” added Chief Content Officer Helen Kellie.

“In Australia we love our food, [but] there is a real gap in the market. People are looking for inspiration and help for what they are cooking at home.”

While other networks have focused heavily on cooking programs and reality shows set in the kitchen, SBS says it will do things differently.

“We’re not doing reality TV shows,” said Mr Ebeid.

“It will be very different to what you see on Seven, Nine and Ten.”

SBS says it has not made any cuts to its three other free-to-air channels to fund its fourth.

“This will be a niche channel, enough to complement our other content” admits Mr Ebeid.

“It will cover its costs.”

The name of the new food channel will be revealed closer to its launch date in November.

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