Vice co-founder and CEO Shane Smith (right) gestures as Rogers Communications President and CEO Guy Laurence laughs during an announcement in Toronto on Thursday October 30, 2014. Rogers Media and Vice Canada are ending their three-year-old partnership with the result that TV channel Viceland will cease broadcasting on Rogers cable as of March 31 and Rogers will give up its interest in Vice Studio Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Rogers Media cuts ties with Vice Canada

Rogers Media and Vice Canada are ending their three-year-old partnership, pulling Viceland TV channel off the air

Boundary-pushing TV channel Viceland is slated to cease broadcasting as of March 31, as Rogers Media Inc. and Vice Canada end their three-year-old, $100-million partnership.

Rogers said in a statement on Monday it is evolving its Canadian content strategy and will redirect future funding to initiatives that “better align” with its portfolio and brands.

“In this crowded content universe and as audience habits change, we continue to evolve our strategy to deliver unique content to Canadians,” it said.

Rogers said it is also giving up its interest in Vice Studio Canada, established by the partners in Toronto through their 2014 agreement to generate Canadian content for mobiles, tablets, computers and TV screens that appeals to young people.

Ryan Archibald, president of Vice Canada, confirmed the partnership’s end in a separate statement Monday and said that keeping Viceland alive is a priority.

“Vice will continue to grow in Canada in 2018. We have a lot of opportunity ahead of us and will be announcing some new exciting partnerships soon,” he said, without giving specifics.

“Rogers Media’s initial investment helped to establish our studio as a leading producer of some of the most engaging Canadian content out there and we thank them for their partnership.”

Neither Rogers nor Vice would consent to interviews with executives. Rogers spokeswoman Andrea Goldstein said in an email her company alone had spent $100 million through the joint venture on creation of Canadian content, the studio and the TV channel.

Related: Vice suspends two top executives

Carmi Levy, a London, Ont.-based media analyst, said Rogers is likely the partner that decided to pull the plug.

“When you engage in a partnership of this type, I think both sides, and especially a telecom of the scale of Rogers, would expect some kind of return,” he said.

“Here you are just over three years into the deal and obviously the returns aren’t where they’d like them to be.”

He said it’s difficult to tell what Vice’s viewership was because those numbers haven’t been separately disclosed.

Vice Canada said the Rogers joint venture resulted in over 130 hours of original Canadian programming.

It says it now has full ownership of the content library and the Toronto studio after Rogers gave up its 30 per cent stake. It said it plans to continue to build that business.

The 24-hour-a-day Viceland television channel launched in February 2016 with prime-time shows including Gaycation with Ellen Page and Black Market with Michael K. Williams.

It is currently available on all major cable or satellite companies in Canada.

The end of the Rogers-Vice partnership comes as competitors Netflix and Amazon Prime are investing heavily in original programming.

Dan Healing, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Playmor Junction daycare expansion faces opposition

Neighbours upset with rezoning application, citing traffic, noise and concerns about future uses

Foster care is ‘superhighway to homelessness,’ youth advocate tells Nelson audience

Katherine McParland grew up in foster care and lived on the streets

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

Pacific Insight to lay off part of workforce

The company says it is transferring automotive production to its Mexico facility

Black belt tests on this week at Kootenay Martial Arts

Grandmaster Brenda Sell returns to assist in testing

VIDEO: Candidates at Nelson election forum

Mayoral candidates joined 18 council candidates for an evening of very short answers

Jets score 3 late goals to beat Canucks 4-1

Winnipeg ends three-game Vancouver win streak

Two B.C. cannabis dispensaries raided on legalization day

Port Alberni dispensaries ticketed for “unlawful sale” of cannabis

Canada not sending anyone to Saudi business summit

Sources insist Ottawa never intended to dispatch a delegation this time around

Earthquake early-warning sensors installed off coast of B.C.

The first-of-its kind warning sensors are developed by Ocean Networks Canada

VPD ordered to co-operate with B.C. police watchdog probe

According to the IIO, a court is ordering Vancouver police to co-operate with an investigation into a fatal shooting

B.C. woman looks to reduce stigma surrounding weed-smoking moms

Shannon Chiarenza, a Vancouver mom of two, started weedmama.ca to act as a guide for newcomers to legal cannabis, specifically mothers

B.C. teen gives away tickets to Ellen Degeneres show, plans O Canada welcome

The Grade 9 student wanted to give away tickets in the spirit of inclusivity

Most Read