A+E and Vice confirm channel deal

A+E Networks and Vice Media have confirmed that the pair will launch a Vice-branded channel as a joint venture.

Vice CEO Shane SmithThe new 24-hour youth-oriented channel, provisionally titled Viceland, is expected to launch early next year and will replace A+E Network’ existing H2 service. The channel will be available in about 70 million homes at launch.

H2 will continue to operate internationally, where it is present in 68 countries. A+E said it remains committed to the history channel’s international expansion and the production of content for it.

Viceland’s development will be overseen by movie director Spike Jonze, who serves as Vice’s creative director.

The channel will launch with a raft of shows including Gaycation with Ellen Page and Ian Daniel, Huang’s World with Eddie Huang, Noisey, VICE World of Sports, Black Market, Flophouse, Party Legends and Weediquette.

A+E Networks will oversee technical operations and distribution, and will work with Vice on ad sales and sponsorships. Vice will also handle all marketing across all platforms, utilising its various relationships with partners across mobile and digital.

The announcement followed A+E’s US$250 million investment in Vice, taking a 10% stake, and speculation that the US media company will increase this with around US$200 million in new capital from joint owner Disney.

“This network is the next step in the evolution of our brand and the first step in our global roll-out of networks around the world,”said Shane Smith, Vice co-founder and CEO.

“First: it allows us to be truly platform agnostic and enable our audience to view our content wherever they want. Second: it represents a continued growth in our content quality and raises the ceiling even higher for our brilliant teams to attack stories from long form features to multi-episode series and even short-form interstitials that will challenge the accepted norms of current TV viewing. Third: we will test new and innovative monetisation strategies placing Viceland at the pointy tip of the spear of the rapidly changing terrain of TV advertising.”

“All in all, this new network allows us to continue our innovation in storytelling and content creation and take it to the next level. We couldn’t be happier working with Nancy [Dubuc, A+E CEO] and her team at A+E and we couldn’t be more excited to offer this opportunity to our Vice family of partners, producers, shooters, editors and staff to go out and make our indelible imprint on the cultural fabric of this modern age.”

“Vice has a bold voice and a distinctive model in the marketplace,” said Dubuc. “This channel represents a strategic fit and a new direction for the future of our portfolio of media assets. Shane Smith has led Vice from a fledgling magazine into a global media brand and all of us at A+E are excited to work with him and his passionate and innovative team.”

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