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A+E to rebrand H2 as Vice

Having ploughed US$250 million into Vice Media last year, A+E Networks is now retooling one of its own cable channels under the Vice brand.

Vice CEO Shane Smith

Vice CEO Shane Smith

US reports claim H2 will be rebranded as Vice, which marks the first time Vice has had a linear broadcast channel.

Vice has been seeking to launch a cable channel to capitalise on its hugely dedicated 18-34 online audience, but to this point has made do with a number of partnerships with premium cable net HBO.

The new channel’s launch in early 2016 will not affect HBO’s daily Vice newscast – a deal scheduled to run until 2018 that also includes documentaries and specials – according to The New York Post, which broke the news.

Vice will have editorial control of the new channel, according to unnamed Post sources.

H2, meanwhile, has been operating as a companion to the flagship History Channel since its launch nearly two decades ago.

It would become the second A+E channel to rebranded since Nancy Dubuc became president, after Bio was repurposed as FYI.

Disney- and Hearst Corporation-owned A+E last year paid US$250 million for a 10% stake in Vice, which had already secured financial backing from the likes of 21st Century Fox.