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

Lacombe Generals punch their ticket to Allan Cup

6-1 win over Stony Plain finishes off series in 5 games

Local Legions will be presenting the award-winning play Jake’s Gift

Acclaimed play has received rave reviews from critics and audience members alike

WATCH: What’s Up Wednesday – March 21st

A summary of the week’s news

Innisfail RCMP arrests two

Suspects attempted to flee but their vehicle got stuck in the snow

WATCH: What’s Up Wednesday – March 21st

A summary of the week’s news

Liberals awarded $100,000 contract to man at centre of Facebook data controversy

Christopher Wylie says his voter-profiling company collected private information from 50 million Facebook users

Starbucks to unveil latest creation: crystal ball frappuccino

The limited-edition drink will be available starting March 22

Two arrested in Leduc County after Thorsby RCMP drive by rural break-in in progress

Thorsby RCMP prevent break and enter, find other stolen property

Liberals tried pilot project with Facebook data whistleblower in 2016: source

Cambridge Analytica has been accused of improperly using information from more than 50 million Facebook accounts

No opting out: Canadians to get emergency alerts on their phones soon

Canada’s wireless providers are preparing for a looming update to the National Public Alerting System

Texas bombing suspect blows himself up as SWAT moves in

The suspect in a spate of bombing attacks that have terrorized Austin over the past month blew himself up with an explosive device as authorities closed in

Witnesses: Boko Haram returns Nigerian kidnapped schoolgirls

Witnesses say Boko Haram militants have returned an unknown number of the 110 girls who were abducted from their Nigeria school a month ago.

Alberta budget plans for Trans Mountain expansion

Finance Minister Joe Ceci says expected revenues will be factored into budget forecasts

Most Read