According to various U.S. news and trade reports, A+E Networks is making a bold move for the millennial set come 2016, and will create a joint venture with Vice Media resulting in the rebrand of A+E’s H2 net as a Vice channel.
The New York Post reported on Tuesday that ad agency sources who have “heard the pitch” say the new channel will feature lifestyle content geared to the Vice target audience, as well as documentary content.
Meanwhile, the Hollywood Reporter cites industry sources who say the channel will be a joint venture between A+E, which is owned by Disney and Hearst, and Vice Media. Last summer, A+E ponied up US$250 million for 10% of the multimedia company.
Previous speculation making the rounds earlier this year had H2, a sister net to A+E’s History brand, set to air a block of Vice programming. Currently, the Brooklyn-based content company produces a documentary series for HBO, hosted by Vice co-founder and CEO Shane Smith (pictured) and has struck a deal with the premium cabler that ups the episode order for that series from 14 to 35 per year, and will also see Vice produce a daily newscast for HBO as well as 32 news specials through to 2018. The deal also gives Vice its own branded channel on the HBO Now streaming service.
The Vice/H2 reports come as Vice preps for its upfront presentation in New York on Friday, and A+E hosts its upfront on Thursday.
An A+E spokesperson was not immediately available for comment at press time.