Business

Disney invests $200M in Vice as it launches new TV channel

Walt Disney Co will invest $200 million US in edgy video maker Vice Media, known for its coverage of current affairs for the Millennial generation, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Vice to take over H2, a History Channel spinoff, to create Viceland

Vice co-founder and CEO Shane Smith attends the 74th Annual Peabody Awards in New York in May. Vice Media and A+E Networks are joining forces for a cable channel with lifestyle and documentary fare. (Charles Sykes/Invision/Associated Press)

Walt Disney Co will invest $200 million US in edgy video maker Vice Media, known for its coverage of current affairs for the Millennial generation, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Financial Times had reported the news on Tuesday.

Separately, Vice said it would take over H2, a spinoff from the History channel that is owned by A&E Networks — a joint venture of Disney, Hearst Corp and NBC Universal Inc.

A&E had invested $250 million for a 10 per cent stake in Vice last year, then valuing the company at $2.5 billion.

A Canadian TV network that's planned to start in winter of 2016. A+E Networks, also is owned by Disney and Hearst, and holds a stake in Vice..

The new U.S. channel — working title "Viceland" — will be launched early next year with prime-time shows including Gaycation, with Ellen Page and Ian Daniel, Huang's World, Noisey, and Weediquette, the companies said in a statement.

The decidedly un-family friendly content is a departure for Disney, while the deal moves Vice further into the TV universe from its online roots.

Started in 1994 as a Montreal punk magazine, Vice has grown into a global multimedia brand with print, television and online content as well as a record label and book publishing.

Vice, which won an Emmy award last year, has carved a niche for itself at a time when TV networks have struggled with bringing news to many young consumers who access their news through digital and social media channels.

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