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

Folk legend Arlo Guthrie returns to Vancouver Island MusicFest

Island MusicFest executive producer Doug Cox went to the well one more… Continue reading

Changes coming to CVRD watering restrictions

The changes will come into effect in May

Comox marijuana bylaw vote set for today

A decision on a contentious Comox bylaw surrounding the plan to temporarily… Continue reading

Big Read: locked out of the woods

Vancouver Islanders struggle to balance back country public access with private land protection

NDP gives Liberal budget ‘failing grade’ on gender equality

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Sheila Malcolmson said budget doesn’t do enough to focus on pay equity

CONTEST: Win a whale-watching tour for four

Where in the world are the Snowbirds?

B.C. towns rank in top honeymoon destination worldwide

Vernon, Kaslo, Sunshine Coast and the Island hit Expedia.ca’s list of top 18 honeymoon destinations

Men arrested at Starbucks say they feared for their lives

Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks, becoming viral video

Olympic gold now official for B.C. weightlifter

Christine Girard’s bronze medal from 2012 Olympics upgraded to gold, IOC announces

Did a Canadian shoot down the Red Baron? A century later, debate hasn’t quit

Om April 21, 1918 two Canadians in their canvas-covered Sopwith Camel biplanes engaged the enemy

VIDEO: Canadian teen lands invite to Royal wedding

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have invited Faith Dickinson, founder of Cuddles for Cancer

B.C. liquor server wage to be phased out by 2021

Piece work pay for farm workers rises, but stays in place for now

Vancouver Whitecaps sign 16-year-old B.C. player

Grade 10 student from Langley joins MLS club

Most Read