Scripps Networks Int'l adds two brands

Food Network, Fine Living Network feeds to 60 countries

One year after launching its first channel outside North America, Scripps Networks International is now distributing two brands -- Food Network and Fine Living Network -- through six feeds to 60 countries in eight languages across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The channels are available after 12 months in 15 million television households worldwide.

Leading the distribution of high-definition lifestyle content globally, and embracing digital brand extensions for online and mobile platforms, signify milestones Scripps Networks International attained during its first year of operation.

"It was at MIPCOM last year that we announced our intention to begin channel businesses alongside the existing program syndication in the global market," said Greg Moyer, president of Scripps Networks International. "We have just begun to introduce the power of Scripps lifestyle brands to audiences worldwide. Launched In November 2009, Food Network U.K., for example, has proven to be Sky's most successful lifestyle channel launch in the past four years."

In addition, Food Network U.K. is one of only 30 channels (out of almost 200 measured stations) attracting more than half a million viewers every week and is the third most viewed lifestyle channel for female viewers in Sky homes.

Food Network U.K. has just greenlit its first series commission ("Andy Bates' Street Food") -- a move that marks the start of original programming for the channel.

Since 2009, Food has expanded across EMEA with launches in Belgium, Netherlands and Cyprus, bringing the number of territories covered to 29. These territories are supported online with schedules, recipes and chef biographies.

U.S. series such as "House Hunters International," "Color Splash Miami" and "Selling New York" will make their worldwide debuts on FLN this fall.

"We're putting many of our most popular series from the U.S. on FLN," said SNI VP of programming Mary Ellen Iwata. "Effectively, Fine Living Network is becoming the best of Scripps lifestyle television worldwide."

At the same time, Food Network Asia is expanding its footprint with launches in Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia in the last four months that are beamed in both standard and high definition.

The European feeds are operated as a joint venture with Chello Zone, a distributor of thematic channels; Food Network Asia is solely owned and operated by Scripps Networks Interactive.

Scripps is one of the few locally owned U.S. station groups whose family controllers a few years go saw the wisdom of expanding globally, in part to offset downturns in the U.S. publishing and local TV station businesses. They split off into two separate companies in order to facilitate such foreign expansion. 

Moyer told THR that several more key carriage deals in Asia will be unveiled abroad in the coming weeks.

The real nut to crack though will be deals in key European terrtories like Germany, Italy and Spain. And France, which arguably believes it invented "fine living," will doubtless be the hardest territory to break into.