In an interview with CNBC Vice CEO Shane Smith said he would launch a dedicated linear channel in the United States with a dozen more in Europe. In the US, Vice will work with a local, unnamed, partner, while in Europe the plan is to acquire existing networks.
“It makes sense to launch a network anywhere. Because we’re doing three screens, OTT, we’re doing a network with Rogers in Canada. we’re doing networks in Europe, networks in South America,” said Smith. “We want to be able to go to our brands and say we can do TV, we can do mobile, we can do OTT, we can do everything.”
Vice grew out of a Canadian punk magazine, Voice of Montreal, which launched in 1993. Vice News was launched in December 2014; it has focused primarily on hard-hitting documentaries, working in the UK with Channel 4.
Despite the increasing number of international news broadcasters, success is not guaranteed. Al Gore’s Current TV built up 40 million homes in the United States before selling out to Al Jazeera in January 2013.
Earlier this month PBS, the US public broadcaster, swapped its pay strategy for free in order to build its audience base.