SBS to launch fourth channel dedicated to Food

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SBS is set to launch a fourth channel, dedicated entirely to food.

The as-yet-unnamed channel will be available on SBS 3 (Channel 33) in November, joining SBS, SBS 2 and NITV.

As the first free-to-air channel dedicated to food, it will feature “a smorgasbord of food, cooking and travel programs inspired by food, handpicked from around the world, alongside some of the network’s much-loved, locally made shows.”

SBS has entered in to a major output deal and licensing agreement with US-based Scripps Networks Interactive, which produces lifestyle content, cooking competitions, culinary adventures and home entertaining.

The announcement follows SBS also being denied recent legislation to allow it to increase its primetime advertising, to address government funding cuts.

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.”

Full programming, channel name and launch date will be announced in coming weeks.

21 Comments:

  1. Excited about a food only channel! Here’s hoping that Iron Chef will continue to make an appearance (Japanese, not the disappointing foreign versions) will make an appearance!

  2. So this is basically going to be an advertorial type channel, screening cooking lifestyle programming produced to sell warehouses full of associated merchandise, pity.
    There is no hope now for Community TV being migrated across now onto the SBS multiplex like NITV was. That is while all the SBS services remain as MPEG2.

    • There was never any real hope that Community TV would be migrated onto the SBS mux. That suggestion was shot down by the then-minister-now-PM over 12 months ago, within days of the original announcement that the licences would not be renewed.

  3. I think an SBS food channel is a great idea and I’ll watch. I’d love to see a documentary channel too. It’s pretty much all I can stomach watching on free to air these days.

  4. This will be a great channel , now we need 10KIDS/9KIDS/7KIDS(DISNEY) to replace the morning kid stuff , give them there own channels, so we have grow up content on in the morning ….more choice, also . does this mean SBS will be the first HD only main channel ?

    • If I recall correctly when NITV launched on FTA replacing SBS4, it didn’t count as SBS’ fourth channel (it just replaced a simulcast which had existed for something like 2 years). So this food channel would technically only count as SBS’ 3rd channel, so they can continue to have a SD and HD main channel. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong. Also, I recall hearing somewhere, and please someone correct me if I’m wrong on this too, that after the analogue turnoff the networks no longer had to have only 3 channels so if that is the case every network could simply have a SD and HD version of their main channel.

      • @Josh777 They can broadcast as many channels as they want under the legislation, so long as they have the bandwidth. Therefore…

        @andrewb …it’s likely SBS (ONE) in SD will be dropped to allow space for the new food channel, meaning SBS (ONE) will only be available in HD.

        • “it’s likely SBS (ONE) in SD will be dropped to allow space for the new food channel …”

          Possible but unlikely, at least in the short term. Until very recently SBS had been running at a reduced (~19Mbps) bitrate for technical reasons (e.g. SFNs) yet managed to carry their existing complement of channels.

          The recent change to ~23Mbps (same as the commercials/ABC) means they’ve now got another ~4Mbps to play with – enough for the announced food channel, and even possibly have some left over to re-allocate to existing channels.

  5. I would have thought that a documentary channel would be more needed by FTA but I guess a food channel would attract more viewers (given the already high amount of food programming which airs daily across the networks it must attract eyes) and would be easier for SBS to obtain (a lot of the doco programs are tied up with other networks – namely ABC). But I hope SBS have good luck with this.

  6. Did a google search of Scripps Networks Interactive and they operate hgtv, food network and travel channel which are channels available on fetch. So I’m guessing that some content that’s available on fetch will be making its way to sbs 3.

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