Scripps, Chello join forces for foreign foray

CANNES — U.S. cable group Scripps Networks Interactive is teaming up with London-based international thematic channel Chello Zone to launch Food Network in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

The localized versions of Food Network, which reaches more than 99 million TV households in the U.S., will feature original programming adapted for the international market, as well as the popular U.S. shows.

The Food Network channel is expected to bow on U.K. feevee platform BSkyB later this year and will launch in other territories in early 2010.

The joint venture will allow Scripps Networks Interactive to maintain its controlling interest, while Chello Zone will handle Food Network’s operations across Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

“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 Scripps Networks Interactive’s international development subsidiary.

The original content produced for the U.K. version includes new series “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” hosting by famous chefs including Danny Boome, Giada De Laurentiis, Robert Irvine and Rocco DiSpirito.

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