Carlton Food Network
|Carlton Food Network|
Carlton Food Network ident from 1999.
|Launched||1 September 1996|
|Closed||1 December 2001|
|Owned by||Carlton Television
|Sister channel(s)||Carlton Select
(at time of closure)
|ITV Digital||Channel 35|
Carlton Food Network (later known as Taste CFN from May 2001) was a British digital television channel, owned by Carlton Television, showing food and cookery programmes. It launched in September 1996, and closed in December 2001. It was part of a group of non-terrestrial channels operated by Carlton, including Carlton Select, Carlton World, Carlton Kids, and Carlton Cinema.
Carlton Food Network launched in September 1996 on cable and Astra satellite, sharing space with SelecTV, later bought by Carlton itself and renamed Carlton Select. The channel showcased the best of Carlton and other ITV cookery programmes. Originally operating as a weekday daytime cable-only channel, the channel later expanded its broadcasting hours to become a full-time service until 2001, when its now sharing space with Channel 4's sister channel E4.
It began broadcasting on the ITV Digital platform at its launch in November 1998, which was part owned by Carlton along with another ITV company Granada, who also operated its own group of Granada branded channels under a partnership with Sky known as Granada Sky Broadcasting.
In September 2000, Carlton announced it had a signed a joint venture with the supermarket chain Sainsbury's to co-brand the channel. The deal saw the announcement of interactive services for digital TV viewers that would allow them to order recipe ingredients from Sainsbury's through their set-top box. The rebranding took place the following May, with the channel becoming Taste CFN and the launch of the taste.co.uk website, merging Carlton's SimplyFood and Sainsbury's tasteforlife websites. The channel was now promoted by Sainsbury's both in-store and on its website.
However the partnership was brief and it was announced in August 2001 that the venture was to be disbanded on 1 September. Less than expected revenues from e-commerce and a weakened advertising market were blamed on the decision to close the venture, which saw the return of ownership of the Taste CFN channel back to Carlton and the return of the web-based recipe and wine assets to Sainsbury's, with the taste.co.uk website being shut down and its assets being reused by Sainsbury's own websites.
Although Carlton were returned ownership of Taste CFN as part of the venture disbanding, Carlton decided to close the channel and it ceased broadcasting on 1 December. On ITV Digital, it was anticipated that the slot was to be filled by a new channel on the now struggling platform, but in the end the space became a preview channel for ITV Digital suppliers and potential customers.
Less than a month before the closure of the channel, a new food and cookery channel from the UKTV network began broadcasting, UK Food, a spin-off channel from UK Style. Now known as the Good Food Channel, the channel has been known to broadcast former CFN programming, including original programming that was made for CFN such as Use Your Loaf, co-hosted by James Martin and Paul Hollywood.
- "Sainsbury's to front digital TV". MediaWeek. 28 September 2000. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
- "Sainsbury's and Carlton disband Taste". Brand Republic. 10 August 2001. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
- "Carlton and Sainsbury's scrap the Taste Network". PRWeek. 15 August 2001. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
- "Carlton Food Network to serve up trio of shows". Broadcast. 24 March 2000. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
- "Use Your Loaf on Good Food Channel". UKTV. Retrieved 30 July 2013.