After lots of murmuring and speculation, Vice has officially announced they will be launching a dozen channels in Europe next year — with a U.S. network coming “shortly.” While CEO and founder Shane Smith explained that the move is to take advantage of the demand for millennial content on terrestrial platforms, he didn’t specify what sort of TV series Vice has planned for the network. Smith described the move s an aggressive one to multiple publications.
“In secret, we have been making about 32 TV series over the last year and a half,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “We are doing that for our network in America, which we will be announcing shortly. And then we started taking some of that content around Europe and that turned into sort of bidding wars for pan-European deals, regional deals, and country-by-country deals.”
While Smith didn’t note specific partners, he did say that the deals will be take many different forms: a couple of mobile and telecom deals, as well as ones with current large terrestrial European networks. “[We were looking for] the deals that will allow us, most importantly, the most freedom,” Smith said. “Because we are not only making radically different content, but also doing radically different monetization plans such as show sponsorships. We want to, at least partly, reconstruct how TV is monetized.”
In March, the network announced it would begin airing a daily newcast on HBO stateside as part of a four-year content deal with the premium network. “This extension of the HBO/Vice relationship, which will include more shows, more documentaries, and even a Vice daily newscast, is an evolution of our partnership,” said CEO Richard Plepler, and HBO programming president Michael Lombardo, at the time in a joint statement (via Deadline).
News also came out earlier this year that Vice would get its own TV channel, replancing H2 on A&E, launching in 2016. In interviews today, though, Smith didn’t mention the partnership with H2.