History and Ownership
The Food Network (legally the Television Food Network, GP) was launched on Thanksgiving weekend 1993 in New York, NY as a channel that specialized in programs about cooking, hospitality, food, restaurants, and general kitchen culture. In 1996, it was purchased by the A.H. Belo Corporatio,
In 1997, the E.W. Scripps Company purchased a majority share, and has since bought out every minority shareholder except for Tribune Co., which maintains a 31% share of the estimated $1 billion channel. Scripps Networks Interactive, a an offshoot of E.W. Scripps Co., now has control of the channel along with HGTV and several other home-centered networks, and broadcasts to 99 million television household worldwide. This number is expected to rise, however, since Food Network has expanded to both the United Kingdom and Asia within the past year.
The Food Network and connected HGTV have evolved considerably over the last decade to maintain consistently high Nielsen ratings in cable, while Food Network in particular has grown considerably in viewer base and popularity over the past five years. However, pricing is still being negotiated for the worth of these growing channels, and controversy has arisen as a result, particularly after New York's Cablevision dropped the Food Network in a dipute last year over the channels currently undervalued price of 25 cents per subscriber.
Currently Food Network is expanding to include a website, a magazine, and a videogame for Wii, where viewers can buy merchandise or else more intereactively interface with the Food Network brand.
- Monk, Dan. Business Courier of Cincinnati. "Tribune's Food Network stake has Scripps' belly growling" April 4, 2008. http://cincinnati.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/stories/2008/04/07/tidbits1.html
- Owl Staff. Owl Beta. "A History of the Food Network" December 7, 2009. http://www.owl.com/article/2009/12/07/a-history-of-the-food-network
- Schroeder, Eric. Food Business News. "Food Network to launch in international markets" November 4, 2009. http://www.foodbusinessnews.net (Registration required to view entire article.)
- Scripp's Network. "Food Network, HGTV Enlist Viewers' Help To Keep Popular Lifestyle Networks on Cablevision" January 1, 2010. http://www.scrippsnetworks.com/newsitem.aspx?id=391
- Nelson, Randy. Joystiq. "Food Network: Cook or Be Cooked" April 30, 2009. http://www.joystiq.com/2009/04/30/joystiq-impressions-food-network-cook-or-be-cooked/