American lifestyle media builds a taste for Asia

American lifestyle media network Scripps Networks has acquired the Asian Food Channel, hoping to strengthen its position in Asia.

Derek Chang, who was appointed recently as managing director of the Asia Pacific region for Scripps Networks Interactive, will oversee the management and integration of the Asian Food Channel.

He will also oversee operations of Scripps Networks Interactive’s existing networks in the region.

When asked what the acquisition means for advertisers, an Asian Food Channel (AFC) spokesperson told Marketing: “This transaction will be beneficial to advertisers as between Asian Food Channel and the Scripps Networks, with channels Food Network Asia and Travel Channel International, we will offer a robust set of complementary brands to meet their needs.”

The spokesperson declined to reveal how much the AFC was acquired for, merely saying the amount ran into millions.

Kenneth W. Lowe (pictured), Scripps Networks Interactive’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, said that acquiring the Asian Food Channel significantly expands the network’s presence in key growth markets and provides a solid foundation on which to build a growing lifestyle media business in the region.

“Asia and the rapid growth in pay television households throughout the region hold great promise for Scripps Networks Interactive and its international ambitions,” he said.

The Asian Food Channel, which is based in Singapore, reaches about 8 million subscribers in 11 markets. The network generates revenues through regional and local advertising sales as well as fees from pay television operators.

With the addition of the Asian Food Channel, Scripps Networks Interactive now has three lifestyle television brands that it is marketing in the region, including the Food Network and Travel Channel. The latter two are distributed in select markets in Asia.

Scripps Networks Interactive has been expanding its international operations starting in 2009 with the launch of the Food Network in the United Kingdom and other markets in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. In 2012, the company acquired the London-based international operations of the Travel Channel.

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