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January 30, 2011

Food TV Channels: How will they fare?

From the Businessworld article:

The first to launch was Zee Khana Khazana about six weeks ago on the company’s DTH platform Dish TV. In a launch interview, business head of Zee Khana Khazana, Anurag Bedi, underlined the importance of food to the Indian viewer, calling it “one of the three non-communal religions after Bollywood and cricket”. The 24-hour food channel has on offer both Indian culinary programmes like A Touch of Turmeric as well as taking housewives through recipes with chefs on the international circuit like the Chinese food show Ching’s Kitchen.

For content-producing company Alva Brothers, a food channel became a matter of necessity. The company’s foray into broadcasting with a Hindi entertainment channel, Real, came a cropper last year. Shutting it down, the group has morphed its broadcasting plans into a slew of lifestyle channels. The first offering from the Real Lifestyle Network will be ‘Food First’, expected to be on air in the next couple of weeks. Says Manisha Tripathi, business head of Real Global Broadcasting: “Food is universal in appeal and is increasingly becoming an expression of one’s lifestyle. Therefore the first launch.”

An interesting challenger to the other two will be ‘Food Food’, launched on 24 January as a joint venture by Astro Malaysia and celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor. The latter was for years the front face of the longest-running food show Khana Khazana on Zee TV. “We will not just be a stand-and-stir channel like the others. Ours will be a food and lifestyle channel with ‘where-to-eat’ shows, voyeurism on what and how the stars eat, and even travelogues,” says Karthik Lakshminarayan, COO of Food Food.

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of data and analysis on private equity, venture capital and M&A deals in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports. Email the author at