Astro to launch FOODFOOD in India early next year with Turmeric Vision

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As reported earlier, the long awaited Food channel FOODFOOD from the joint venture between Sanjeev Kapoor’s Turmeric Vision company and Malaysian major broadcaster Astro is going to foray anytime in the beginning of next year.

The latest announcement has come in wake of Alva Brothers’ declaration of launching a food channel ‘Food First’ on Indian TV space.

The joint venture is all set to launch a pioneering, innovative and specialized 360 degree food concept called FOODFOOD. The JV between the two companies marks the entry of Astro in the Indian media broadcasting industry.

FoodFood is the most gastronomically loaded lifestyle and entertainment concept available across TV, mobile, web etc – a 360 degree focus on the world of food. Created by two entities that are experts in their respective fields – Astro, an expert in developing & distributing specialty content over digital platforms, owning & operating multi media platforms such as DTH, IPTV etc. and Sanjeev Kapoor, the most well known and celebrated chef in India.

With the concept of Cooking+ Food +Food-lifestyle, the TV channel is scheduled to go on-air in early 2011. It will feature, for the very first time, Hinglish content that will be produced and packaged in India, making the shows relevant to the Indian audience. In order to connect to their audience in India, FOODFOOD will feature shows about food and food lifestyle like ‘Sanjeev Kapoor’s Kitchen’, ‘Firangi Tadka’, ‘Sirf 30 Minute’ and Ready Steady Cook, Prominent personalities form the entertainment and food industry such as Chef Chinu, Chef Harpal, Chef Rakesh Sethi, and more will feature as part of the varied offerings on the channel. FoodFood is also the first Indian channel that’s entirely shot in high definition.

The brand will also feature in the online space, be available at the touch of a button on mobile and web.

Talking about the reason for introducing a specialty food channel, Raghvendra Madhav, Executive Director of India and South Asia for Media, Astro group said, “Food is the new entertainment! Over recent times, content has started to reflect this with food playing a central role in game shows, reality shows, travel and lifestyle shows and instructional shows where viewers learn to cook or hone their culinary skills, or just vicariously experience new cultures and cuisines. Capitalizing on this development we are launching FoodFood – 360 degrees of food available across multi media platforms like TV, web, mobile! Our core target is the middle class Indian in urban towns and cities. With FOODFOOD we are set to redefine food content in India.”

Clearing all the past speculation on the joint venture, he said, “Yes, we have entered into a joint venture with Chef Sanjeev Kapoor’s Turmeric Vision to launch this unique, specialized and dedicated 360 degree food concept.and will be up and running by early 2011. Given Astro’s already large interest in media space, our association with Chef Sanjeev Kapoor for this channel will be a value addition. Sanjeev has over the years, made a mark for himself in the culinary world, and carved out a special place in every household. He is the perfect choice for the channel. We will have the support of his creativity and popularity, for the channel to connect with the core audience.”

Speaking about the channel, celebrated Chef Sanjeev Kapoor said, “Food in India is synonymous with entertainment; people meet and bond over food and discussions over places one can go and eat. All our celebrations centre around food. The channel offers an ultimate lifestyle destination for Indian foodies who want to make some quick, easy, balanced meals as well learn about interesting world cuisines. With food being the central element, the shows will offer a variety of lifestyle and entertainment content, and different themes and recipes that the Indian viewers can connect with. It has been my dream of having a channel like this ever since I started my career. The partnership with Astro is a natural culmination. I am very excited to see my dream turning to reality.”

Malaysian company Astro is an integrated cross media group, with presence in Malaysia, India, Middle East, Australia and international markets, primarily engaged in the provision of direct-to-home subscription television services, radio services, film library licensing, multi-media interactive services, and television content creation, aggregation and distribution. In India, Astro has a stake in Sun Direct and South Asia FM Limited. It recently acquired a significant stake in Get It Infoservices (a yellow pages directory business ) and has a JV with Mogae Digital mobile content and online portals. The company has also recently bought 49% stake in India’s premier lifestyle channel, NDTV Good Times.

Turmeric Vision Pvt Ltd was conceptualized by Chef Sanjeev Kapoor, the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine today, TV show host, author of best selling cookbooks, restaurant consultant, architect of unique range of food products and winner of numerous awards. Turmeric Vision intends to become India’s first Food Content Company that will create Food Content and Food Entertainment Brands to be distributed through multiple platforms like Television, Web, Mobile etc.

With this new enterant in the broadcasting space, the segment is undergoing specialisation trend where now the channels would be catering specific needs of separate viewers. FOODFOOD and FoodFirst would give strong competition to each other.

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