Details on the Viceland roll out north of the U.S. border emerged Friday, with Canadian telco Rogers Media and Vice revealing the launch date, carriers and preview strategy for the new, youth-facing channel.
The companies have inked agreements with 25 BDUs across Canada to carry the 24-hour channel, which launches on Feb. 29. It will be offered with a three-month free preview to each company’s current subscribers.
The list includes Rogers Cable, Access Communications, Bruce Telecom, Cable Cable Inc., CityWest, Cogeco Connexion, Eastlink, Execulink Telecom, Hay Communications, Mitchell-Seaforth Cable TV, Northwestel, Novus, Riondel Cable Society, SaskTel, Shaw, Shaw Direct, Sogetel, Tbaytel, Telus Optik TV, Videotron, Westman Communications Group, Wightman Telecom, WTC Communications and YourLink Cable BC.
The combined total of these channel carriers will give Viceland a reach of 7.5 million households in Canada, according to Rogers Media.
Among the Canadian titles to be produced out of Vice’s Toronto-based studio are documentary series Cyberwar and Terror (with Vice co-founder Suroosh Alvi, pictured). In all, the channel will carry nine Rogers-commissioned series, along with original content developed and produced in-house by Vice staff. Director Spike Jonze, creative director with Vice, has been overseeing the development of the new channel, from show creation to production.
Vice announced in November 2015 that Viceland would be taking over Rogers Media’s bio channel licence. A month later, the edgy digital brand onboarded David Purdy, a former senior Rogers executive, to lead its push into international linear and digital markets.
Vice has been busy prepping for expansion, which includes a major push into Europe. Company CEO Shane Smith confirmed in October Vice is in talks with several linear and digital brands to launch European channels over the next year. In November, the company announced Viceland will air in the U.S. market in early 2016 following a deal with A+E Networks.