AFC Network Makes Key Announcements at Asia TV Forum

Dated: 30 November 2005

1. Landmark Programming Memoranda Of Understanding (MOU) With The MDA And Other Partner
2. Controversial And Loud-Mouthed Celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsey Debuts On Asian Food Channel On December 4, 2005
3. Launch of Asian Food Channel in Indonesia through CableVision

AFC Network Pte Ltd, the region’s first 24-hour food Pay TV media company based in Singapore announced today several key developments on track with plans to expand the Asian Food Channel reach. A significant Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) and other partners was signed to co-invest a total of SGD $5 million in programming for Asia over the next 2 years. The announcement at the Asia TV Forum marks a historical milestone in the cultivation of local programming and talent.

The programming, which will air on AFC Network Pte Ltd’s, Asian Food Channel (AFC), will come in high-definition and standard-definition format, and focus on a variety of food genres including restaurant reviews, food related health shows, game shows and documentaries covering the region and beyond. AFC’s aim is to develop high quality programming that can speak to audiences across the region, mirroring the way Asian food transcends all countries, cultures and races.

Two new original shows have been planned so far by AFC. “Art of Entertaining Asian Style” is a travelogue hosted by Malaysian Chef Wan, AFC’s resident chef and celebrity guru in the food industry. The 13-episode series will take a tour of the forgotten realms of Malaysia back to a time when Sultans and Kings reigned and showcase how the true art of entertaining should be done, Asian style.

The second locally produced show to result from this landmark MOU with the MDA and Partners is “Modern Cooks and Heritage Food”, a half hour series for chefs and food-lovers alike to experience a taste of Asian heritage in today’s modern kitchen. Hosted by celebrity chef Devagi Sanmugam who is one of Singapore’s most respected and talented food personalities, this show will prove to be quite unique with her interesting guests and penchant for whipping up recipes and revealing more than just what food lovers and experienced cooks already know.

AFC, which launched in Hong Kong on PCCW in July 2005 and in Singapore on Starhub’s digital cable TV service in September 2005 is the first and only 24-hour regional channel dedicated entirely to food. Commenting on the channel and the rationale for its establishment, Hian Goh, Managing Director of AFC said, “AFC was conceived and developed to fill a gap in Asia’s broadcasting market, which previously did not offer a dedicated food channel. Ironic for a region which is so passionate about food and for whom the traditions associated with local cuisine is a way of life.”

“AFC represents all that makes Asia distinctively different and provides a window into its past, present and future. Knowing the food and the people behind it allows a rare and untainted glimpse into the heart and soul of Asia, which is why we are committed to showcasing our own people through the creation of local programming and by developing local talent rather than always buying in foreign content. Having partnerships with the MDA and other partners enable us to achieve this ambition and marks another step in the channel’s strategic development.”

Dr Christopher Chia, Chief Executive Officer of the MDA said, “We are delighted that AFC, a Singapore media company with a food–themed cable and satellite channel, is taking steps to involve Singapore producers in creating original content. We applaud AFC in their endeavour to produce such high-quality programmes for broadcast on their channel as well as for export to the rest of the world. This will certainly help to anchor Singapore as an important regional node for content distribution and more importantly, the source for original content creation.”

AFC launched with programming acquired from around the region and the globe offering a distinct, but not exclusive focus on Asian cuisine. To date, content has been acquired from Singapore, Malaysia, China, Korea, Japan, Australia, Canada, the UK and the US, showcasing to its viewers a host of first-run programmes that have never before been aired outside their country of origin as well as popular old favourites.

AFC also made another key programming announcement at the Asia TV Forum that controversial, loud-mouthed UK celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey debuts on the Asian Food Channel this December. The Channel will feature 4 first-run series of ‘Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares’ which is filled with so much drama and tension in the kitchen, it makes the Apprentice looks like mere child’s play. Remove the weekly eviction of contestants and substitute it with the firing of lazy waiting staff or temperamental chefs, viewers can watch how tough-talking chef Gordon Ramsey turns a struggling restaurant back into a proper operation in a few weeks. Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares launches on 4th December and airs every Sunday at 11pm with regular repeats.

Some of the other imported culinary delights that viewers can sink their teeth into include ‘Cook like a Chef’ a 39-part Canadian series that showcases cooking tips normally known only to the finest chefs, to food investigative documentaries like ‘The Filth Files’ which features some very dirty stories about the nastier habits of restaurants and cafes.

As part of AFC’s plans to increase its reach in the region, the AFC also announced its debut in Indonesia under the country’s CableVision network. This is on track with AFC Network Pte Ltd’s vision to penetrate Asia with 100% 24-hour food programming.

Commenting on AFC’s plans to expand its reach into the whole of Asia, Maria Brown, Managing Director and Head of programming and commissioning said;“All along, we have said that for a region that loves food as much as they do, there has been very little programming that is really reflective of what it means to be part of Asia and its food culture. This reach into Indonesia is further testament to our vision of providing 24-hour food programming to food enthusiasts and people wanting to learn more about the various Asian cuisines. That also provided the rationale for our MOU with the MDA and other partners as we are committed to spending the time and resources in finding and creating Asia’s next generation of TV chefs who are destined to become food ambassadors for the region to the world.”

For further information please contact:

Sheila Rasu, Fulford PR
Tel: 6324 2269

Media Development Authority of Singapore
Ms Casey Chang
Assistant Director, Corporate and Marketing Communications
Tel: 6837 9344

Ms Yvonne Poh
Assistant Manager, Corporate and Marketing Communications
Tel: 6837 9894

About AFC
AFC Network Pte Ltd is a Singapore-based media firm. Its channel, the Asian Food Channel (AFC), is the region’s first 24-hour cable TV food channel. AFC began broadcasting in Hong Kong on NOW broadband TV on the 26th July 2005. It began broadcasting in Singapore on Starhub Digital Cable on 1st September 2005.

As the first and only Asian food TV channel that broadcasts in different countries across the region, AFC provides 100% 24-hour food programming. The regional Cable TV channel enjoys the strong support of Singapore’s Media Development Authority (MDA). With its regional headquarters here, it is initiated and spearheaded by Singaporean Hian Goh, and Briton Maria brown. Both have extensive experience in business and media.

Programmes are in five main genres;Infotainment, Instructional, Current Affairs, Reality and Variety. All programmes are broadcast in the original language format with subtitling in English or Chinese.