In an interview with NexTV News Latam, Eduardo Hauser, Managing Director at Scripps Networks Interactive Latin America spoke about the strategy of Food Network in the region for 2017.
-What are the distinctive features of Food Network that make it different from other similar channels?
Food Network is a channel specializing in lifestyle, cooking and culinary knowledge. Within the lifestyle segment, Food Network has focused on three particular formats: the traditional or original one, where the culinary offerings were created (what we call ‘in the kitchen’, which is eminently didactic); There is another sub genre a little more flexible, that is the one of exploration, called internally as ‘out and about’, where we combine tourism with the culinary experience; And the third, which we do very well, is the competition, which has allowed us to take the experience a little further and turn it particularly into an entertainment offer.
When we compare Food Network with other channels in the region, we basically see that specialized channels have much more focus on original didactic content. We have begun to see a bit more culinary exploration and competition in some particular channels. This is the distinguishing feature of Food Network, a balanced mix between the subgenres and, above all, a very clear and well-defined value proposition, with a very good performance in all three.
A second feature is that we own all rights to our content. Therefore, we have the capacity to exploit it not only in TV, but also in digital, mobile and physical worlds.
-What are the key markets for Food Network in terms of distribution in Latin America?
We really like the region as a whole. We have seen a huge concentration of audience in Brazil and Mexico, followed by Argentina, Colombia and Peru, making our distribution priorities oriented towards these markets. We have the opportunity to have pan-regional relationships with companies such as DirecTV, Millicom or Telefónica, which also give us coverage in smaller markets. Our aspiration for the region is to be very well distributed, both in the primary markets and in the Andean secondary markets. Our marketing, programming and production reflects this, as well as the goal of consolidating ourselves as a leading lifestyle channel throughout Latin America.
-What are the goals for 2017 in Latin America?
We have objectives of horizontal growth, that is, to cover more territory; And we also want to have a vertical growth, to achieve greater penetration in territories where we are already operating. This is achieved by deepening and adding more operators in existing geographies. Within the operators that we are already in, we will seek to improve the positioning of the channel, trying to make it available to a wider audience. We also intend to increase the amount of local content. For example, this year we will start three new series in Latin America and, with a little luck, more content.
-What is the channel’s local production strategy? Which production TV companies are you working with?
Our goal is to strike a balance between the content produced internationally by Scripps (which has a very good acceptance among our viewers), and the original production (which reflects the culture of each country, especially their culinary offerings). During 2016 we had four series aired in Brazil, and in 2017 we will probably have between 4 and 6 series in that country. As for the rest of the region, for our feed in Spanish we will start in 2017 with three series or a little more.
Producers vary from country to country. We have had different experiences with local and pan-regional producers, and we are always open to creating new relationships.
-What is your multi-platform strategy? Are you planning to develop apps or a TV everywhere platform in partnership with operators?
We know and are very involved in the ‘multiplatform’ world. Although we have the knowledge and the TV rights, we are still in the development curve of that aspect. We have digital presence and in social networks, but for the moment, we are very focused on the development of linear channels. We have applications that are almost ready to go live in Brazil, with the ability to replicate them in Latin America.
For us it is essential to achieve the optimum balance between the relationship we have with our distributors and the applications that take us to the end user.