Little more than one week after launching Viceland in the U.S. with A+E, Vice is pulling the trigger on its international rights
Viceland is nine days old, and edgy digital media publisher Vice is already chasing the horizon.
Vice, which launched Viceland with television company A+E Networks last month, unveiled a distribution deal with the U.K.’s Sky PLC Wednesday, making the 24-hour channel available in September to British and Irish customers who have its traditional pay-TV service or its Now TV streaming service.
Financial terms of the deal, which isn’t exclusive, weren’t disclosed.
With the Internet lowering barriers to demand for entertainment globally, television companies and their digital rivals have been racing to expand global reach. Earlier this year, Netflix launched in 130 countries to make it a global online TV network everywhere but China, while premium networks HBO and Showtime have widened their distribution with pay-TV operator deals and their own to expand stand-alone online subscription option to new countries.
With the new deal, people who have Sky’s recently debuted Sky Q home entertainment system will also be able to watch content from Vice’s globally popular digital channels in the coming weeks, such as items from Vice.com, Vice News, Motherboard and Munchies in Sky Q’s online video section.
The partnership will also make the first episodes of some Viceland series available to Sky customers on demand access 24 hours ahead of the first live airing. Every subsequent episode will be available immediately after the premiere episode has aired.
A+E and Vice rebranded and reprogram H2 as the Vice network, with A+E maintaining majority ownership of the U.S. channel and Vice taking creative control and holding onto international rights. The deal increased A+E’s stake in Vice to roughly 20 percent, as the company positioned itself to reach the young, digital-savvy viewers that are increasingly eluding traditional television programmers.