Days after the confirmation of a channel deal in the U.S. between Vice Media and A+E Networks, another channel launch for winter of 2016 has been announced for Canada, by way of a joint venture between Vice and Rogers Media.
Viceland, also the working title for the U.S. channel, will operate as a 24-hour channel within Rogers’ stable of specialty properties, with the license currently used for its Bio channel to be rebranded. A release from Rogers says additional details will be announced in the coming weeks.
Spokespersons for Rogers Media and Vice say the Canadian and U.S. channels are distinct, and the Canadian channel is a product of the joint venture between the two parties announced last year. It isn’t clear if the Viceland brand will be used for other international channel ventures currently being explored by the Vice Media team.
As well, the recently-launched Vice Canada studio is currently in development and production on nine original Canadian series, which the release refers to as “Rogers commissioned, Canadian-made programming.”
Those programs, according to the release, include documentary series Cyberwar and RISE; unscripted entertainment series, Abandonment Issues, Dead Set on Life, Payday and Shroom Boom; and the “pop culture guides”, Vice Essentials Canada, Vice Guide to Comedy and Vice Guide to Film. Vice co-founder Suroosh Alvi will also be feature in a Vice Canada-made series, Terror.
These series join the U.S.-produced series also slated for the U.S. Viceland channel, including Gaycation with Ellen Page, and Black Market with The Wire‘s Michael K. Williams.
“Today we’re at the most exciting place in our company’s history, and on the verge of launching a national television channel in the country that gave us our start 20 years ago,” said Alvi in a statement. “The network, in partnership with Rogers, is the realization of the next phase of our growth. We will be truly platform agnostic, which will allow audiences to watch Vice on all screens; mobile, digital, and now, TV. Our new state-of-the-art production studio will give our family of creative geniuses a home in which to pursue their passions and make amazing content that will impact and change the Canadian media landscape as we know it. It’s about time.”
“We’re proud to be working with Vice to introduce a new voice in the media landscape through premium, original, cross-platform content that speaks directly to our millennial audience,” said Rick Brace, Rogers Media president, via the statement. “This Gen Y audience is not only looking for entertaining content, but something that reflects their values and views of the world. Through Viceland and content from the new Vice Canada studio, we will fill this void, bringing viewers a unique programming experience unlike anything they’ve seen before.”
Vice Media released a trailer for the U.S. channel following the November 4 announcement.