Canadian mediaco Rogers Media and Vice Media have announced the end of their three-year-old partnership on the Viceland specialty channel and Vice content studio.
After media reports surfaced in November that Rogers was considering pulling its share in the ventures, the two companies released statements Monday morning confirming the termination of their partnership.
“In this crowded content universe and as audience habits change, we continue to evolve our strategy to deliver unique content to Canadians,” Rogers said in a release. “We plan to redirect our Canadian content funding to other Canadian content initiatives that better align with our portfolio and brands. Content ownership remains a core part of our strategy and we will be actively exploring new content opportunities that appeal to a broad audience.”
Vice will retain full ownership of Viceland’s 130-hour content library and the content studio (in which Rogers held a minority stake). Rogers’ broadcast of Viceland will shutter on March 31, but Vice said in its release that it expects to announce “new partnerships in the Canadian market soon.”
It noted in its release that it is currently working with Bell Media on a two-part documentary series for CTV’s W5 program, and on the Canadian broadcast of Vice News Tonight, which airs on HBO in the U.S.
“Rogers Media’s initial investment helped to establish our studio as a leading producer of some of the most engaging Canadian content out there and we thank them for their partnership,” said Ryan Archibald, president of Vice Canada.
According to the CRTC’s 2017 Communications Monitoring Report, Viceland had 1.5 million Canadian subscribers in 2016 (the year it debuted) and posted a loss of nearly CAD$2.5 million.
In the U.S., Viceland is part of the A+E Networks portfolio. The Canadian channel aired much of the content produced for the U.S. channel, including Gaycation (pictured), as well as Canadian originals such as Dead Set on Life and Rise.
(From Media in Canada)