Vice Is Said to (Finally) Get Its Own TV Network

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Vice co-founder Shane Smith.
Vice co-founder Shane Smith. Credit: Vice

Vice is on track to get its own traditional TV network.

A&E Networks, which paid $250 million for a 10% stake in Vice last August, is planning to turn over its H2 network to Vice, according to a report in the New York Post:

Vice, run by Canadian-born envelope-pusher Shane Smith, will launch by early 2016, according to ad agencies, which have heard the pitch. While news content will be headed to HBO as part of a separate deal, more lifestyle programming will fill the new channel.

Emails and calls to Vice and A&E were not immediately returned. Vice will pitch its digital-video wares to advertisers at a NewFront presentation on Friday.

The move to TV comes as traditional cable networks are trying to go over the top, offering their content to consumers via streaming services on devices like Apple TV and Roku. But a Vice TV channel has seemed inevitable for some time, as the company, which started in 1994 as a free magazine, has barreled toward traditional TV in the last couple of years. It produces a half-hour show for HBO, which will expand into a daily news program that will stream on HBO's over-the-top channel HBO Now. Last year, Vice started a TV network in Canada.

The media company was also in talks last year with Time Warner, which was considering turning HLN into a Vice-branded channel. But the talks broke up partly over editorial control of the network. Vice will have full control over its forthcoming channel, according to the Post.

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