Food Network launches in Middle East

The Food Network will launch in the Middle East after striking a carriage deal with pay-TV operator Orbit Showtime Network.

This comes just one day after the channel, which is a joint venture between Chello Zone and Scripps Network, hired former Five boss Nick Thorogood to lead its channels charge. The channel, which is the first new channel to launch since the merger of Orbit and Showtime, will debut at the start of February 2010. It will air series including Rachael Ray’s 30 Minute Meals, Iron Chef America and Chopped.