Television

GST fails to spoil Food Food's party

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MUMBAI:  When largely all television channels were struggling in the aftermath of the goods and services tax (GST) implementation, Food Food channel remained insulated from all the brouhaha. Celebrity chef and promoter Sanjeev Kapoor, speaking to Indiantelevision.com, said that the channel he co-founded saw no adverse impact of the tax that has been the bane of existence of many media companies.

The food content channel is run by Turmeric Vision Private Ltd, a joint venture between Kapoor, Astro Overseas Ltd and Mogae Consultants.

“Bigger channels might have been impacted but not us,” he said. Food content is always on people’s minds even as male viewership has been increasing as the taboo of men entering the kitchen is fading away. “The primary viewership today isn’t always female. There is great interest from the male audience, too, which wasn’t the case earlier.”

Unlike other content such as automobiles or sports, food is a universally loved topic. Everyone relates to it and food lovers will especially gobble it up. He said that India had three types of entertainment preferences–Bollywood, cricket and food, which wasn’t very hot until recently.

According to media reports in 2016, the network saw an investment of around $30 million (around Rs 180 crore) and had incurred operating loss, which kept reducing year-on-year. The company achieved break even in financial year 2016-17. “We are confident that 2018 will be far better than 2017,” he said.

Kapoor dismisses the idea of constantly thinking of improving a channel’s ratings and repackaging shows in order to ramp up viewership. Instead of calculating the impact via ratings, the channel focuses on reaching relevant homes. “If we want to be in the top of ratings chart, we will have to create the next Naagin of food and we don’t want to do that. We want to stay focussed on our content, which is more trust centred. So, the ratings are relatable for general entertainment channels (GECs) but our relevance is towards more advertisers.”

Digitally, Food Food looks at recipe-based content while TV is all about storytelling. Although Kapoor admits that over-the-top (OTT) platforms are important, the channel doesn’t have any app-specific content yet. Instead, the channel’s social media is very active. Moreover, Food Food has associated with SonyLiv and Jio for providing live shows to the platforms; in three months, Kapoor said, the company will analyse the results and decide the future roadmap. Partnerships with two more undisclosed OTT platforms are on the anvil.

Food Food was the first channel to go high definition (HD) in India. The channel is aware that standard definition (SD) is still more prevalent in the country and, therefore, also distributes its content in SD.

Food primetime is 1 pm to 5 pm and 8 pm to 11 pm. Kapoor believes that in the food genre, it is not the celebrity chefs behind the channel’s success but is the channel that makes the chef a star.

Food Food already has presence in the US (Dish Network), Canada, the UAE and Qatar and owns the IP rights to over 2600 hours of programming. It has also syndicated around 1000 hours of programming internationally to the likes of airlines, news channels in South India and to Colors in the US.

Also Read: Chef Kapoor-promoted Food Food bolsters ops with Amagi Cloudport

Food content dominates viewership on lifestyle channels

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