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Food Network Sets Broad TV Pact With Star Chef Bobby Flay (EXCLUSIVE)

Food Network has set an exclusive TV content pact with Bobby Flay, one of its most ubiquitous stars.

The three-year pact covers new episodes of Flay’s current Food Network series “Beat Bobby Flay,” plus a new series, “The Flay List,” that he will host with his 22-year-old daughter Sophie Flay, targeted for debut in the spring. The deal also covers Flay’s work as a producer and developer of programs and personalities through his Rock Shrimp production banner.

The deal is good news for Food Network’s new parent company, Discovery Inc., at a time when marquee names like Flay are being courted by a range of platforms for exclusive talent deals.

Flay made his first appearance on a then-fledgling Food Network in 1994 and now ranks as the cabler’s longest-running active personality. By 1996, Flay had landed the series that helped make him a household name, “Grillin’ & Chillin’.” He’s a regular across many Food Network franchises such as the “Food Network Star” talent search series, “Iron Chef America” and the “Worst Cooks in America” competition show.

“Bobby Flay is a culinary superstar in every regard, and we are thrilled to be able to continue this extraordinary and productive partnership,” said Courtney White, president of Food Network. “Bobby has a unique way of inviting audiences to experience food through the lens of his own passion. He’s both an expert as well as approachable, someone most people feel they know and can trust to steer their own culinary curiosities.”

Flay said he was looking forward to exploring new programming possibilities now that Food Network is part of the larger Discovery family of channels. Discovery acquired Scripps Networks Interactive, parent of Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel and others, in for $14.6 billion in March.

“In my conversations with (Discovery CEO) David Zaslav, he’s expressed a desire to bring the content I produce with my Rock Shrimp Productions team to an even more global audience,” Flay said.
Flay operates numerous restaurants around the country, with his latest venture, Shark, set to open in Las Vegas next year. At present he’s also at work on his 15th cookbook.

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