Rogers and Vice are partnering to create a multimedia production studio in Toronto.
Dubbed the Vice Canada Studio, the focus will be on creating Canadian content across mobile and broadcast platforms.
“We wanted to build a powerhouse for Canadian digital content focused on 18- to 34-year-olds,” said Guy Laurence, president and CEO of Rogers in a release. “Vice was the obvious choice to partner with.”
The companies are investing $100 million in the partnership to establish the Vice TV network in Canada and produce exclusive mobile content, according to a statement today.
The deal adds to the stable of exclusive content Rogers can offer to its cable, wireless and Internet users. Last year, it signed a $5.2 billion, 12-year contract to show NHL hockey in Canada. The Toronto-based company will also debut an online streaming service called shomi, a joint-venture with Shaw Communications Inc., in November.
Laurence has been teasing an upcoming “big announcement” for the last week. He took the reins of the company in December, vowing to improve customer experiences with Canada’s largest wireless carrier.
Vice has exploded from its start as a street-inspired magazine in Montreal to a $2.5 billion (U.S.) Brooklyn-based global online media empire, with a show on HBO and partnerships with CNN and The Guardian. The company raised $500 million in September to expand onto mobile devices and develop a 24-hour news network.
In October, Vice CEO Shane Smith said he was looking at ways to generate more revenue from smartphones and tablets. It’s also considering producing more programming for traditional television.
Online video is the core of Vice’s business. The company distributes content made in-house on its own websites, as well as YouTube channels, and produces a show for Time Warner Inc.’s HBO. While getting people to watch mobile video has been easy, making money off of it has been a challenge, Smith said.
Vice, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary after starting in Montreal, has become a media company that has grown from a magazine into a media powerhouse that Rupert Murdoch bought into for $70 million last year.
- With files from Bloomberg