MIPTV: Viceland Hires Executive to Oversee European Expansion (Exclusive)

Former Discovery executive Arjan Hoekstra will oversee the aggressive expansion of the new Viceland channel across Europe.

Vice is bolstering its international team as it embarks on an aggressive European expansion, appointing former Discovery Networks exec Arjan Hoekstra as European general manager for its Viceland channel.

Hoekstra will oversee the planned rollout of the new Viceland channel, which launched in the U.S. and Canada in February. It is set to debut on Sky in the U.K. and Ireland in September, the start of an ambitious strategy to launch the channel in more than a dozen international markets in the coming 18 months.

The move comes just a month after Vice revealed that it was planning to move into seven Eastern European territories – including Russia – following an expanded deal with Greece-based broadcaster Antenna. While the announcement mainly concerned establishing a digital presence and production hubs, Antenna's CEO Theo Kyriakou said he hoped to launch Viceland in each of the markets once Vice head Shane Smith gave "the green light."

Among the Vice-produced shows on Viceland are the Ellen Page and Ian Daniel-hosted travel series Gaycation, Fresh Off the Boat star Eddie Huang’s Huang’s World and Action Bronson’s F*ck That’s Delicious cooking shows, and music show Noisey. The company is continuing to develop additional lifestyle programming, as well as scripted and unscripted shows, and plans to produce local content in each of the countries in which it establishes a base.

The channel is the latest in Vice’s strategic moves to distribute content across multiple platforms, including its Emmy-winning show on HBO and a partnership with FremantleMedia on a fully co-owned YouTube cooking channel.

Vice has also entered into strategic partnerships with Verizon and Spotify to distribute content across platforms.

Prior to Viceland, Hoekstra oversaw Discovery Networks in the Asia Pacific region across 36 countries. He previously served as managing director of Eurosport, also for the Asia Pacific region.