The new channel would create exclusive content for the online world, as opposed to running repeat clips from their television programming. There’s been no word yet on whether their current established personalities would essentially begin hosting shows for the YouTube crowd or if the network would create new personalities to interact with the unique voice of the “online demographic.” Earlier this year, Food Network utilized YouTube to find new recruits for their reality series “The Next Food Network Star,” so they already have a toe in that water at least.
There are two schools of thought on this interesting development: The first is my normal “The End of the Internet is Nigh” doom and gloom mad prophet approach. The Food Network is an example of a company that can come in with a lot of money behind it and just bully the little guys into irrelevancy. Shows like “My Drunk Kitchen” can’t possibly compete with the hooligan antics of Guy Fieri in this bleak worldview. But then, once cooler heads prevail, I think about the long-term potential that is having an elephant like Food Network in the YouTube circus. The beauty of the Internet is that it is sort of an established counterculture mentality. By nature, the vox populi thrives independent and free online (albeit in established corporate-controlled media forums) and if nothing else, the Food Network and powerhouses like it can essentially function as water on the Internet’s vegetable garden. New content will grow and thrive off of what Food Network provides.
Neither scenario is as black and white as what I’ve detailed above, and with several food-centric websites and shows (including one from a former Food Network executive) already established online, it will be difficult for the Food Network to bring something fresh to the table. If going viral was easy, I wouldn’t be sitting here reporting on every damn thing the Food Network does.