Rogers, Vice unite to launch Canadian studio, channel

Toronto-based telecoms firm Rogers Media has partnered with Vice Media to build a Canadian production studio that will create content for worldwide distribution.
October 30, 2014

Toronto-headquartered telecoms firm Rogers Media has partnered with Brooklyn-based Vice Media to build a Canadian production studio that will create content for worldwide distribution.

The Toronto facility, to be operated by Vice and part of a CAD$100 million joint venture between the partners, will produce homegrown Canadian content for varied platforms, including TV screens, mobile and online.

Rogers Communications CEO Guy Laurence and Vice Media founder Shane Smith were both on hand in Toronto for the unveiling of their pact.

“This is the most ambitious project we’ve ever done,” Smith told a Toronto press conference today (October 30) to unveil the new Canadian mobile, TV and online content production hub.

Besides servicing Rogers’ cross-platform TV, mobile and online assets, Vice will distribute the Canadian-made content worldwide. That will include a daily news show for Canadians, coming one year after Vice Media launched its own news channel, the Vice TV Network. Vice and Rogers will also work to launch a 24-hour TV channel targeting young Canadians, to be distributed nationwide by Rogers.

Laurence said the tie-up aimed to target 18- to 34-year-olds with homegrown content. Laurence and Smith earlier collaborated on mobile phone content-making six years ago while Laurence was with Vodafone.

“We were ahead of the game; he [Smith] was ahead of the game. We got there too quick,” Laurence recalled during the Toronto presser. The mobile-first content push by Rogers and Vice follows the CBC similarly adopting the same strategy as it too attempts to get round the digital bend.

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About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.