Vice Media, Canal Plus Partner to Launch Viceland in France (EXCLUSIVE)

CANNES — Vice Media, the global youth media company, and French pay TV group Canal Plus have formed a partnership that will offer Viceland, Vice’s new TV channel, exclusively to Canalsat customers across all platforms when Viceland launches in France in the fall. The news was unveiled by Eddy Moretti, Vice’s chief creative officer and co-president of Viceland, onstage Wednesday at the MipTV tradeshow in Cannes.

In a statement, Moretti told Variety: “We’ve been growing our production in France for the past several years preparing for a day like this — the chance to enter the French market with a 24-hour lifestyle channel that prominently features domestic production.”

He added: “After launching Viceland in the U.S. and Canada in February — and later this year in the U.K. — it is a proud moment for the company that Viceland France, in partnership with Canal Plus, will be the first non-English language version of the channel with many more to come. Vive la différence!”

Viceland, which focuses on an “immersive style of original lifestyle and culture content for young viewers,” will include a slate of new Vice-produced French programming, “capturing the stories, people, fashion and culture that matter most to young French audiences.”

The 24-hour channel will be programmed, developed and produced entirely in-house by Vice’s young creative team, and the channel will be exclusively available for Canalsat customers in their basic TV subscription packages either live, on demand or on the go.

Viceland launched in the U.S. and Canada in February, and will launch in the U.K. and Ireland in September. Vice is believed to be looking to launch Viceland in 10-15 of the largest TV markets globally over the next 12-18 months, including the launches in U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland and France.

The channel features hundreds of hours of original programming, including “Gaycation” (with Ellen Page and Ian Daniel), “Huang’s World” (with Eddie Huang), “Noisey” (with Zach Goldbaum), “F*ck, That’s Delicious” (with Action Bronson), “Weediquette” (with Krishna Andavolu), and “Balls Deep” (with Thomas Morton).

Film director Spike Jonze serves as co-president of Viceland, and is overseeing the development of the new channel, from show creation, through production, to brand identity.

Speaking to Variety, Jean-Marc Juramie, managing director of Canalsat, said the French channel will be the only Viceland channel featuring non-English content. The channel will include about 15% of original local content — dozens of French shows, he said.

Juramie added that the Vice team in France was looking to develop daring, thought-provoking shows in the spirit of the programs that Vice produces in the U.S. Asked about how Viceland series like “Weediquette” would translate for French audiences, the exec said it shouldn’t be a problem. “If it works in the U.S., French audiences shouldn’t have a problem — we’re not exactly known as a puritanical nation.”

The launch of Viceland on Canalsat is the next chapter in Vice’s international multiplatform growth, and follows the announcement last month that Vice France will become a joint venture between Vice Media and Les Nouvelles Editions Indépendantes (LNEI) — independently controlled by Vice Media — to expand the youth brand’s presence across online, mobile and linear.

Since launching in 2007, Vice France has grown exponentially, evolving from a print magazine into a multimedia platform spanning online, mobile and linear. Today, Vice France operates a large content-creation studio, centered around a network of online channels covering news, fashion, food, sports, technology, arts, and music.

The launch of Viceland on Canalsat is the next chapter in Vice’s international multiscreen growth across digital, mobile and linear, adding to the multi-platform partnerships Vice has struck with A+E Networks, HBO, YouTube, Snapchat, Live Nation, 20th Century Fox, Verizon, Sky and Spotify.

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