A+E Networks’ H2 Set to Be Rebranded as Vice Channel

The rebrand comes after the network paid $250 million for a 10 percent stake in Vice Media last August

Last Updated: April 29, 2015 @ 9:10 AM

A+E Networks is rebranding H2 as Vice in the launch of a joint venture cable channel, TheWrap has learned.

Both of A&E’s parent companies, Disney and Hearst, and Vice Media submitted required regulatory filings with the FTC on Tuesday, an individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap.

The proposed rebrand comes after the network paid $250 million for a 10 percent stake in Vice Media last August when talks regarding a joint venture between Vice and Time Warner involving HLN broke down.

Vice is expected to have editorial control of the channel, which will launch early 2016 with original documentary programming. As TheWrap reported previously, talks came to an impasse earlier this year over Disney’s desire to exercise editorial controls over the channel. It appears those issues have been worked out.

Vice, which is aiming to be the Millennial news source, is a digital media company that operates a network of online channels that cover news, sports, technology and music. In August 2013, Vice sold a 5 percent stake to 21st Century Fox for $70 million. At the time it was valued at $1.4 billion, but following the A+E deal it was reported at $2.5 billion.

H2, short for History 2, was relaunched under its current name in September 2011 and is currently available in approximately 71,220,000 pay television households.

Since Paul Cabana took over as head of Programming in 2012, ratings have doubled. Last month, he was promoted to the same role at History.