ESPN, and VICE Sports have reached a deal which will bring the two media companies together for the first time. As part of the arrangement, VICE Sports will be tasked with producing a new original series which will air exclusively on ESPN properties—TV, digital, and mobile. Select films from ESPN’s renowned documentary series 30 for 30 will air on VICELAND, the new cable network from VICE.
“Growing up watching ESPN I came to love the brand and their content. Maybe a little too much. The amount of manly tears shed over various 30 for 30’s throughout the years has been nothing short of embarrassing,” said Shane Smith, Co-Founder and CEO, VICE Media. “To be teaming up with ESPN, creating brand new sports shows for them, and then showing 30 for 30’s on VICELAND is perhaps one of the favorite moments in my professional life. I can now die a happy man. No, wait, we have to take over the world first! Here it comes baby, VICE WORLD OF SPORTS!!”
Added John Skipper, President, ESPN, Inc. and Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks, “Evoking manly tears from Shane Smith is no small task, and I take immense pride in that. Shane and the team at VICE do an extraordinary job presenting stories through their own, very unique lens – and working with them will help to bring a new perspective to our storytelling. I am confident that the content borne out of this collaboration will be a win for fans of ESPN, VICE and storytelling in general. And I applaud Shane for understanding that television is the smartest path to worldwide leadership.”
Disney became the largest outside investor in Vice Media last year, when it sank $400 million into the company in exchange for 10% of the stock. Altogether, Disney now owns nearly 20% of Vice. According to the latest round of funding, Vice Media has a market value close to $4 billion.
The details of the production and distribution agreement break down as followed:
- VICE Sports and ESPN Films will create a brand-new short-form series which will air on both ESPN and VICE properties. Original shows in development will take audiences around the world to look at dominant athletes, fascinating characters and championship events that reside outside the mainstream. Additionally, VICE and ESPN are developing a short-form animated series.
- Select VICE Sports series including original episodes of The Clubhouse will run across ESPN’s linear and digital channels, including WatchESPN.
- Films from ESPN’s critically acclaimed documentary series 30 for 30 will re-air on VICELAND.
- ESPN will feature digital cutdowns of the VICELAND show VICE World of Sports, after programming premieres on VICELAND. Full episodes of VICE World of Sports will air on ESPN properties.
VICE World of Sports premiered on VICELAND on April 27 and airs every Wednesday night at 11:00pm. The trailer is available here.