Channel 4 diversifies with Taste acquisition

Brand Events’ subsidiary Taste Events has announced the launch of two more of its food and restaurant festivals following a deal with Channel 4 worth £1.5m.

Brand Events’ subsidiary Taste Events has announced the launch of two more of its food and restaurant festivals following a deal with Channel 4 worth £1.5m. The two new events are planned for Bath and Edinburgh and will complement the existing portfolio, which includes Taste of London and its recently launched sister shows in Birmingham and Dublin. The deal sees Channel 4 division, 4Rights, acquire a 50% stake in Taste Events, marking the broadcaster’s first acquisition in the events industry. Brand Events managing director Chris Hughes said: “We were actively looking for a television partner and Channel 4 was seeking opportunities to extend its brand. We were initially discussing a partner for the Taste shows but we’re talking about other possibilities also.” Hughes went on to express his delight at working with the Channel 4 team. "It is a progressive, innovative broadcaster," he said. "Its brand values are about doing things first, being innovative and even causing a bit of trouble. I think to an extent the Channel 4 brand is similar in spirit to Brand Events." The Taste of London event this year enticed around 35,000 visitors to Regent’s Park between 15-18 June. Celebrity chefs such as Gordon Ramsay, Jean Christophe Novelli and Anthony Worrall Thompson also attended. This year also heralded the inaugural outings of both Taste of Birmingham and Taste of Dublin. 18,000 visitors attended the event at Birmingham’s Cannon Hill Park in July while 15,000 headed to Dublin Castle in June. Channel 4 is believed to be considering similar acquisitions in an attempt to reduce its dependence on traditional advertising revenues.

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