FremantleMedia and Vice Create Joint Venture

Aiming to feed culinary programming to youthful audiences worldwide, FremantleMedia has teamed with Vice Media on a joint venture to create a multichannel food platform for millennials spanning TV and online distribution.

The name of the new venture has yet to be announced. The companies said they are investing “significant resources” in the initiative, but financial terms weren’t closed.

Initially, the JV will be a web channel on Vice but the project is structured to leverage FremantleMedia’s position to sell the content to TV networks globally. The companies expect to produce hundreds of hours of content in the first year of the partnership.

The Vice food vertical will comprise a mix of video, articles, how-tos, recipes and events. Subjects will include the politics of food, world travel and cuisine, and an “irreverent” look at home cooking. Vice will collaborate with FremantleMedia North America’s original digital production team, led by Gayle Gilman, as well as the FremantleMedia production teams around the world.

Vice Media has “a great track record of identifying key genres which are not catering (to) the younger demographic, and entering those areas in a very major way,” Keith Hindle, FremantleMedia CEO of digital and branded entertainment, said in announcing the pact. “We agree food and drink today are central to so much of youth culture, and the genre is ready for a smart, bold new voice.”

Content from the venture will be available on multiple platforms, including Vice.com, alongside its other verticals: Noisey (music), Motherboard (technology), The Creators Project (art), i-D (fashion), Thump (electronic dance), Fightland (mixed martial arts) and the forthcoming news vertical Vice News.

The companies said longer-term plans for the JV include “experiential activities” such as festivals and tastings; mobile extensions such as apps and a “food locator” concierge service; social activity including Facebook integration and user-submitted reviews and contributions; and licensed merchandise.

Vice Media prexy Andrew Creighton said younger auds are “totally underserved” when it comes to original food programming. The new FremantleMedia/Vice channel, he boasted, will “upend the culinary media landscape, producing more jaw-droppingly entertaining original multichannel food programming than anywhere else and ensuring the content reaches a global audience on every screen. We’re stoked to say the least.”

Last summer, Vice Media sold a $70 million stake to 21st Century Fox, giving Fox a 5% stake in Vice and valuing the company at $1.4 billion.

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