It’s been a long time coming: Vice Media is finally getting ready to announce its long-planned TV channel, Variety has learned. The online media upstart has teamed up with A+E Networks to turn A+E’s H2 network into a Vice-branded cable network, which is expected to launch by Feb. 29 at the latest.
Vice Media received a first $250 million investment from A+E more than a year ago, and has since planned to launch a network with the media company. In April, news broke that A+E was going to contribute H2, an offshoot of the History channel, to the partnership.
The New York Post was first to report about Disney investing in Vice earlier this month. The Wall Street Journal reported that as part of the deal, A+E is is set to expand its ownership of Vice by 7%. Through its previous investment, A+E already owns 10% of Vice. A+E Networks is jointly owned by Disney and the Hearst Corporation.
Meanwhile, the Journal reported that Disney is to make a separate $200 million investment in Vice, joining 21st Century Fox and A+E as investors in the media company run by Shane Smith.
As Vice prepares to take over a 24/7 cable channel, the company is also working on the launch of a nightly newscast for HBO early next year to complement its “Vice”-branded newsmagazine series that also runs on the premium cabler.