Last summer, Vice founder Shane Smith was in talks with Turner, with the hope of turning one of their networks into the Vice channel. Smith set his sites on HLN, calling it “a distressed media asset” and boldly predicting: “It’s a great opportunity because they’re doing a very bad job and we believe we could do a better job.”
Well those talks broke down, and Smith began talking with A&E Networks. In August, A&E invested $250 million in Vice. Smith craved his own cable channel as part of an expansion of his media empire taking it beyond web shows, an HBO series and, more recently, a deal to create a Vice-branded HBO NOW channel. And A&E has several networks including Lifetime, History Channel, and of course, A&E.
Now it appears one of those networks will become the Vice channel. THR reports:
A+E Networks and Vice are set to launch a joint venture cable channel that would take the place of A+E’s H2. According to industry sources, A+E is in active negotiations with distributors and is beginning to close deals. And Disney and Hearst, A+E’s parent companies, and Vice on Tuesday submitted required regulatory filings with the FTC.