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In a partnership that elevates upstart Vice Media, and brings HBO into the daily news business for the first time, the firms are announcing the most expansive content deal for either company. HBO is making Vice, known for an edgy youthful approach, its news source, both on its linear TV channel as well as its new streaming, over-the-top service, HBO Now, launching early next month.
This is a key move for HBO to go after Vice’s younger demographic, especially as its new stand-alone HBO Now targets those consumers who don’t pay for a cable or satellite TV bundle, a group which likely overlaps with Vice’s younger demographic.
Most notably, the two media companies are launching a daily Vice newscast—five half-hour shows per week, 48 weeks per year. HBO is extending Vice’s weekly documentary series on HBO by four years, and expanding it from 14 to 35 episodes a year. HBO is also committing to 32 Vice-produced specials over the next four years.
And all this new Vice content will be front and center on HBO Now—there will be a Vice-branded channel. The question is how many new subscribers this deal might help add. Vice has made headlines and drawn millions of viewers with shows that take an unconventional approach—including embedding a correspondent with ISIS, and sending Dennis Rodman, with a documentary crew, to visit with Kim Jong Un in North Korea.
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