HBO Inks Large Content Deal With Vice Media

Shane Smith - H 2015
AP Images/Invision

Shane Smith - H 2015

The deal significantly expands Vice's news programming on HBO over the next four years.

HBO is deepening its relationship with Vice Media. 

The cable network announced Thursday morning it will launch a Vice daily newscast as part of a new deal with the edgy, youth-oriented media brand, which will significantly expand Vice's news programming on HBO over the next four years.

Under the deal, HBO has given a four-year extension to documentary news show Vice, which it had already re-upped for two more years ahead of the current season, and increased the order from 14 episodes a year to 35 episodes a year. The cable network has also granted a four-year commitment for an increased number of Vice-produced specials, totaling 32 through 2018. In addition, the Vice daily newscast will consist of five half-hour shows each week for 48 weeks a year. 

The deal also gives the Shane Smith-led company a Vice channel on the new HBO Now stand-alone streaming service when it launches April 12. 

"Shane and the Vice team have produced some of the most groundbreaking and dynamic journalism anywhere," HBO CEO Richard Plepler and president Michael Lombardo said in a joint statement. "This extension of the HBO/Vice relationship, which will include more shows, more documentaries and even a Vice daily newscast is a natural evolution of our partnership. All of us at HBO couldn't be more excited working with the Vice team and helping to tell the stories which define our world."

"I think the first thing, perhaps the hardest thing, I learned about journalism over the past 20 years is that maintaining any type of independence, any type of freedom, is difficult as you scale up," added Smith. "This deal, simply put, allows Vice the freedom to go after any story, anywhere we find it — and to do so with complete independence. This deal is a tremendous gift and a tremendous opportunity, and we at Vice realize this."

Vice premiered its documentary-style news show, which features Smith as host, in April 2013 and won an Emmy for outstanding informational series or special following its second season, which aired in 2014. The weekly show, currently in its third season, airs on Friday nights at 11:30 p.m. on HBO. 

Vice has grown from a magazine into a global media brand that has 30 bureaus around the world. The company, which has become known for documentaries and in-depth news reports like the Killing Cancer special report broadcast on HBO in February, launched a digital news channel last year. Vice will likely lean on those resources as it builds out the programming for the daily news broadcast.