SBS launching food channel to capture younger female demographic and generate profits

Multicultural broadcaster SBS is to launch its own dedicated food channel which it says will be aimed at growing its reach in a younger female demographic in a bid to generate a commercial return.

SBS FoodSBS chief content officer Helen Kellie today told Mumbrella that the new channel, which will sit alongside SBS, SBS 2 and NITV, was aimed at building on the success of some of their other food properties.

“Food is commercially one of our most important genres,” said Kellie. “Both in terms of the ad sales revenue it generates but also we do programming sales in this space and it is one of our strongest returns on investment.”



Kellie cited its strength in food on a Thursday night and in online food viewing as the foundation which had given the public broadcaster the confidence to launch a fourth channel.

“This is really an audience play,” she said. “We are continuing to see audience growth in food.

“We know that our Thursday night shows are some our most consistent performers but we have also seen in some of other food properties ahead of the 6.30pm news or online etc.”

Michael Ebeid, managing director of SBS said in a statement that as the broadcaster faces the challenge of funding cuts the new channel was aimed at creating a commercial return. 

“SBS’s Charter drives all the decisions we make,” said Ebeid. “As we face funding pressures and an increasingly competitive market, we need to find new ways to bring audiences the best content from around the world and create a commercial return to continue to fund high quality Australian programs on our main SBS channels.”

Some of SBS’s digital channels, particularly indigenous channel NITV, have struggled to register any significant audience share often pulling 0.0 per cent on the official Oztam ratings.

“This is a much more mainstream offering,” said Kellie.

“We would expect this to perform much more strongly in audience consumption terms than something like NITV because that channel’s purpose is part audience but it is part broadening cultural content to Australian audiences.

Asked about the audience expectations she said:  “This isn’t about launching a rival to our main SBS channel but we are aiming to focus this on a younger female audience.

“With SBS2 we have successfully focused it on a younger audience and this is about now extending that footprint.”

Nic Christensen


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