It’s official: HBO is digging even more into the news business, with the help of VICE. In a press release issued today, HBO revealed that they will be partnering with VICE in order to expand the scope of their news coverage beyond its current Emmy-winning weekly series.
The deal, which is for four years, includes the launch of a daily, half-hour newscast and a VICE branded channel on the HBO NOW streaming service. The newscast will be slated to run 48 weeks out of the year. Furthermore, the current weekly “Vice” documentary series has been renewed through 2018, with the number of episodes having been increased from 14 episodes to 35 per year.
VICE will also be developing 32 long-form specials for HBO over the course of the four-year period.
The news partnership comes on the heals of last month’s announcement
that VICE plans to launch a female-focused online vertical. Earlier
this year, VICE also broadened its work in the film world by striking a
development deal with 20th Century Fox.
VICE co-founder and CEO Shane Smith, who also reports on stories for the weekly HBO series, recognizes the challenges that lay ahead, but it is nonetheless enthusiastic. Smith’s official statement, per the HBO press release, is as follows:
“I think the first thing, perhaps the hardest thing, I learned about journalism over the past 20 years is that maintaining any type of independence, any type of freedom, is difficult as you scale up,” This deal, simply put, allows VICE the freedom to go after any story, anywhere we find it – and to do so with complete independence. This deal is a tremendous gift and a tremendous opportunity, and we at VICE realize this. Together with HBO, we will expand our news offerings to viewers everywhere, creating HBO’s first-ever daily newscast, producing hard-hitting specials, like our recent Special Report on cancer, and expanding our weekly news round-ups from around the world. Over the the last few years, our relationship with HBO has morphed from a great business partnership into a transformative brand-builder. This groundbreaking deal will create a new voice in news.”
Indeed — to say that VICE has got a lot on their plate is quite an understatement.