Food Food, the food speciality network which will complete two years of operations in January next year, will break even in its fourth year “as planned”.
“We should be able to break even in the next six quarters. Our plan was to invest $30 million (Rs 160 crore today) in three-four years in the channel. We will not need extra funds and will start generating cash,” Sanjeev Kapoor, one of the promoters of the channel, told Business Standard.
Malaysia-based Astro All Asia Networks owns a 50.1 per cent stake in Food Food, while Indian promoters – Sanjeev Kapoor, his wife Alyona Kapoor (Turmeric Vision Pvt Ltd ) and Sandeep Goyal — own the remaining 49.9 per cent stake.
Celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor, who also host shows on the channel, claims that with the digitisation programme, the company is reviewing its plans, as they are hoping that the distribution cost will get rationalised over the year.
“Disproportionate distribution cost is the biggest expense for a channel like ours. We are hoping that it will go down. There is still slight uncertainty on the digitisation, but as and when the dust settles down, we would also like to align with a big distribution bouquet for Food Food,” he says.
Kapoor agrees that the channel does not like to invest on promotions on TV and print as they are very costly. “We rather connect with our viewers on-ground. We can’t spend all money on ATL (above the line) activities. So we took the path of hard work by organising on-ground activations. We did 80 ground events in one month. In the next week, we are doing 20 events for one brand. These activities give us high visibility.”
On the advertising front, Kapoor says that while all food categories and the kitchen appliances brands were first to come on board, now personal care and telecom sector advertisers are also suing the channel to promote their brands.
“TV is one of the biggest medium to reach out to women and food as a concept is also what they like. Moreover, our male viewership is also increasing over the time. So it’s natural for more advertisers to show interest,” Kapoor says.
Next year, the channel will focus more on the lifestyle genre, as it wants to increase its male viewership. While Kapoor accepts that the channel may not have very high cost shows, it will have mid-budget, high-concept shows. “A show, MasterChef, can work on a big channel like Star Plus. Globally also, the trend is that big shows are on big channels, while we can have a focussed approach and can look at simulcast with big networks.”
According to media observers, while it is still very niche, the food genre certainly is on uptake. Lifestyle channels like NDTV Good Times and TLC also run specific shows. With Hindi and English general entertainment channels showing big format shows like MasterChef, the genre is going to get a boost, many believe.