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Vice, FremantleMedia launch Munchies, report sales interest

Hipster youth brand Vice has teamed with FremantleMedia to launch a new online food channel, Munchies.

The pair has said traditional TV partners are already expressing an interest in licensing its programming.

The pair had already announced they would launch a youth-skewed foodie channel, but unveiled programming details and the channels name at MIPTV in Cannes. It went live yesterday.

The Vice shows run to various length and FremantleMedia will repackage them into commercial hours and half-hours and shop them to broadcasters.

At the channel’s launch, Keith Hindle, CEO digital and branded entertainment, FremantleMedia, told TBI that it was lining up its first deals with traditional TV channels and a programming deal is close with one US cable net.

“We expect viewership in the hundreds of millions this year,” Vice co-founder Shane Smith said. He added that Vice had fielded numerous partnership offers from media companies and chose FremantleMedia because of its distribution expertise. “We have been approached by every company in the market and said ‘no’, because we like to keep our independence – but FremantleMedia are the best at what they do, at taking formats around the world.”

Launch series for the new net include Munchies: Chef’s Night Out, following chefs out on the town and Fresh Off the Boat (pictured), in which host Eddie Huang uses food as a way to explore different countries and cultures.

Other launch titles include Girl Eats Food, in which ‘food fantasist’ Joanna Fuentes-Knight explores the extremes of London’s food scene. There is also and F*ck, That’s Delicious, in which rapper and chef Action Bronson heads out on a musical and culinary tour.

There will also be feature docs, Vice’s chief creative officer Eddie Moretti said. He added that there will 100 hours of original content – including how-to guides and fully fledged series – in the first phase of the channel’s life.

The emphasis is on international not solely US-originated content, according to Smith. “We don’t want to be MTV and say here’s some American programmes, take these,” he said. “We will have shows with a French host or an Indian host.”