SBS is launching a 24-hour, free-to-air food only TV channel

Former restaurant critic Matthew Evans stars in the SBS series Gourmet Farmer. Source: SBS

Multicultural broadcaster SBS has announced plans to launch a fourth free-to-air TV channel dedicated solely to cooking and food shows.

The 24-hour channel will add food programs from around the world to bulk up its existing stable of content, which includes the Gourmet Farmer series by Matthew Evans, Vietnamese chef Luke Nguyen’s travelogues and Masterchef winner Adam Liaw’s Destination flavour. The station recently signed a deal with US lifestyle media company Scripps Network Interactive, which owns the Food Network, Cooking Channel and Asian Food Channel, and will supply many of the new shows.

SBS helped turn the 1990s Japanese cooking contest Iron Chef in to cult hit in Australia. It’s also enjoyed strong ratings from English chef Heston Blumenthal’s series and pioneered the “ethnic” food genre in the 1990s with the The Food Lovers’ Guide to Australia.

Managing director Michael Ebeid said the food genre had been very successful for the broadcast, but they would not be moving into the reality TV sphere made popular by the likes of Masterchef and My Kitchen Rules.

“The channel will take one of our strongest and well-known genres to new heights. We know how much audiences love to be taken on a journey of culinary and cultural discovery with our food shows every Thursday night,” he said

The launch date, channel name and schedule has yet to be announced but will begin broadcasting in November.

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