Food and beverage products cannot be consumed only by drinking them or eating them, they can also be considered as content to be listened to, watched on TV, or read about. To explore this topic today we are with Nils Hartmann, the director of original productions of Sky Italia. There's been an increasing diffusion of cooking, food and beverage formats on TVs around the world, what are the reasons for this success? I think basically cooking is something we all can relate to. It’s something we grow up with, it’s something that happens every day, so it's very easy to relate to that even if you are not the great cook or do not want to be a cook. The content in itself is something everyone can relate to. It’s easy and very accessible especially in a country like Italy where we have a great food and cooking tradition. This can be taken even further compared to other countries. I think in this country especially you have an endless territory of discovery you can make. Even in a format like Masterchef, the content, the regionally we play with has a vast territory and gives us lots of content to play with. As you mentioned Masterchef is broadcasted in many different countries in the world countries with different culinary and food cultures, so is there any difference in the way the format is received or produced in countries with such big differences? I think by changing the chefs and by having your home competitors from your country, that alone changes the content completely. The peculiarity of Masterchef compared to other talent shows like X Factor, a singing contest, is that you have to put one hundred percent trust on the chefs because while, this might seem simple and banal, but in the end it isn't because it’s the core of the program while in a singing contest you hear what the guys singing, you cannot taste what these guys are cooking so your trust goes into the chefs. The chefs are the absolute rock stars of the show and obviously they have different backgrounds and are different in each country; for one. The other strong part of these shows is really the stories of the contestants. It's about cooking, yes, but it's about the backstory of the one guy, the story of the lady that this is a bit older so people get affectionate and then they go for one of the other contestants, so the stories are really important and they are very Italian stories that are very tied to the country. and the other element is the regionality of the food. In Italy we have endless resources and specifics and that the something when the authors of the show put together the different tests the they take into account the all the great resources we have in Italy and that, again, makes it very specific to our country. What stays the same are just the basic rules, the outline of the program, the content is very national. Actually MasterChef is being broadcast in different countries and now in some countries the number of editions is different from the number of editions in other countries, how does the format, the program, the reception's by viewers change throughout the years? In Italy, we are at edition number five for example in Australia there are at edition number thirteen I believe. It's interesting we have a yearly summit of all the countries that produce MasterChef and what you see is that at a certain point like always in television you want to change something so that the audience doesn't get bored and you don’t have a dip. What we found is that is a very difficult balance because if you change some of the core elements of the show, people will miss that and the audience goes down, so you have to be very careful about what you change and what you don't change; but mentioning Australia for them MasterChef is like the Champions League Final. It’s really a top scoring program and it has been going on for thirteen years now, always very successful. It appears just like soccer, people don’t get fed up, they just like it and they can relate to it much more than any other show. Okay. When we think of food and beverage products and we consume them by drinking or eating. We know that, for example, to make something you mix ingredients to make a recipe and the recipe could be good or bad, but what makes the recipe of food and beverage as content in a TV show? What are the basic elements? because as you said people can not taste, so is it a matter of creativity from a production point of view? I think it is a matter of storytelling. Like all television it's all about good storytelling so even in these shows although you don't have the script, what you do is you write the script in the editing, you choose the contestants because they have good and strong backstories and then when you put it all together you shoot hours and hours of footage every day and then what gets put into a program is a very small part. That is a very careful storytelling process and I think that's what makes it work. There's a interesting analogy, the loyalty index of a program like MasterChef is incomparable to any other program; a movie is usually around sixty percent when it's a good movie. That means that people will watch it and then go in and out of the movie and go somewhere else, while MasterChef is around eighty percent. That's equal only to some of the good scripted series like House of Cards where you really star an episode and watch it to the end because you want to follow the story, so it's not in-and-out television, and MasterChef has exactly kind of effect so it's obviously about the good storytelling. One question I wanted to ask you how do you think a program like MasterChef has impacted the food culinary culture of Italy in the case of MasterChef Italy or any country where it is broadcasted? I think what you find is that people go along with the game and they do a mystery box at home and they play around so I think these icon elements of the show really had an impact on what people do at home. The other interesting effect is how many kids watch the show, and I'm not talking about Junior MasterChef, I’m talking about the real competition. Kids are really interested in that and I think what you find and I find that with my own sons at home is that you can, through some of the elements they will recognize, bring them to start cooking or playing around with food or fool them by making them cook some vegetables they would otherwise never eat. I think it does have a very strong impact on society in a positive way. What about the reaction of the industry? Restaurant owners, or manufacturing companies, has there been any reaction that you feel that they had? There’s quite a strong element of sponsorship in such programs. Obviously, the food industry is interested in sponsoring the show. It’s a difficult balance, and being the owner of the content, I have to fight with our commercial part because if you have too much product placement in there, or the wrong products you will loose the credibility of the program. The same goes for our chefs. If you have an icon like Carlo Cracco who’s a Michelin Star cook and he goes out there and does advertising for Patatina San Carlo, well that's dodgy because people, I think the other element which makes the format work in general, is the credibility and if you start to have too many brands in there or that credibility you could very quickly vanish so you have to be careful about that. A few days ago I happened to be in a restaurant, and the restaurant owner was telling me that now everyone in Italy feels like a chef of MasterChef, so when they have to interact with their clients, the feeling is that these clients are more ambitious. Do you think that this could be an effect of MasterChef? I think there's terms like impiattamento which in English I don’t know, it’s how you put the food on the plate in a visual way, that were terms that probably before MasterChef weren’t used, and you probably have people going into a restaurant looking at the aesthetics of it, so I think there's been an evolution in a good way. I can imagine that for restaurant owners that is more challenging because people are more aware, and I guess especially if they go out and pay for it they are more demanding. What do you think about the evolution of food and beverage of cooking shows on TV? Is there any thing that you think would be changing or anything that would be staying over time in the next few years? I think that we have a new era now of codified food programs where as before it was just someone behind the stove cooking. There’s probably going to be a new—- I think there are already is a movement of snack content. The recipes you would have brought to you by cooks or content online are in a very short and smart way. I think we're going to see a lot of that online; there already is actually. I think there's always going to be change and there's always something that is more fashionable and cooking is right now so maybe in another four years we're going to have something else that is stronger, but I think it's one of the elements of everyday life so I think it’s always going to stay probably just the way the story is told is going to change. Okay, thank you very much.