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Food Network UK extends Freeview hours

  updated: 17:55

Food Network UK has announced today that it will be increasing its broadcast hours, going 24/7 on Freeview from 20 July.

The channel, home to programmes such as Andy Bates Street Feasts and Barefoot Contessa, has proved to be popular with Freeview viewers, with research by owners Scripps Networks indicating that upto 3.3 million Freeview viewers have been tuning in each month over the past year to the restricted hours service. Given the success, it has been possible to justify the expense of extending broadcast hours on the digital terrestrial television platform.

After launching as a satellite only service via the Sky and Freesat EPGs in 2009, the channel launched last July on Freeview channel 49, airing between 6 and 10pm and initially contained a fair share of cookery programmes from the USA, often featuring cupcakes. It has been recently adding more non-US content to the service.

Food Network uses the Arqiva A multiplex to broadcast on the digital terrestrial network.  Arqiva A recently activated a tenth video stream, using previously unused bandwidth, which is currently dormant for most of the day, and it is possible that Food Network may be utilising this extra stream.

Nick Thorogood, managing director of Food Network (EMEA) commented: “Today’s news is a testament to the quality of our programming and Food Network UK’s popularity and reputation amongst viewers.”

Last week, consultancy and brokering company Canis Media announced that it had a part time slot available on Freeview. Whilst not confirmed, it is likely that the old Food Network slot from 6pm to 10pm is the slot being advertised, possibly ruling out an extension of Ideal World's Create & Craft channel, which has been sharing Food Network's stream on Arqiva A for the past year.

Update: 20/07/2012: Food Network continues as a 4 hours a day service between 6pm and 10pm in the Tyne Tees and Ulster regions until switchover stage 2. This has been confirmed through viewer reports -- none of the briefings from Freeview or Food Network UK indicate this.

Announcement from Food Network UK: 

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