Vice Announces Upcoming Sports Channel at NewFront
Vice, the Montreal-based magazine turned youth culture phenomenon, kept its first NewFront short, sweet, and boozy. In June, Vice will add a sports channel – Vice Sports – to its lineup. The launch comes just in time for the World Cup. Considering that Vice zigs when traditional media zags, this won’t be an ESPN lookalike. Rather, Vice describes it as “a deep dive into the drama that surrounds sports before and after the great moments on the field.”
Additionally, Vice announced new content coming to its newly launched food channel, Munchies, and other channels. Attendees got a look at the third season of “Fresh Off the Boat,” which follows chef Eddie Huang as he explores immigrant communities, as well as an as-yet untitled music show, tech show “Motherboard Roundtable,” pollution exploration “Toxic,” and “Vice World of Sports,” which looks at the intersection of sports, politics, and economics.
Vice’s YouTube channel has close to 7 million subscribers, and the company describes itself as the digital voice of a new generation.
Vice co-founder and CEO Shane Smith, who had clearly started his newfront celebration early, declared that “upfronts are weird,” because one-third of the people in the room were simply curious what Vice was doing, one-third were journalists looking to pick the company apart, and one-third would give them money.
“I believe we’re the first platform-agnostic company out there,” Smith said. “All we care about is that we make good content.”
“We don’t have a f*cking algorithm. We have 5,000 contributors around the world,” Smith declared. He finished by announcing that Vice’s HBO series had just been renewed for a third season.
The youth network now has 4 cable channels in North America and Europe, and plans to launch 20 more by the end of the year.
The parties and presentations are still great, but they're being reigned in. Hype is giving way to reality as online video makes mainstream hits.
Shane Smith interrupted the party to preview several new cable TV shows, but didn't offer details on the channel itself.