According to Vice, its sports vertical “Vice Sports,” will produce a new short-form series to air exclusively on ESPN properties, including TV, digital and mobile. In return, ESPN’s documentary series “30 for 30” will air on Viceland, Vice’s new cable network, which is still in the process of building up inventory to populate its programming schedule.
“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 30s’ throughout the years has been nothing short of embarrassing,” said Shane Smith, cofounder and chief executive officer of Vice. “To be teaming up with ESPN, creating brand new sports shows for them, and then showing ’30 for 30′ 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.'”
Smith’s enthusiasm was met with praise from John Skipper, ESPN Inc. president and co-chairman of Disney Media.
“Evoking manly tears from Shane Smith is no small task, and I take immense pride in that,” Skipper said. “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.”
The agreement also includes a codeveloped short form series by Vice Sports and ESPN Films that will take audiences around to world to look at “dominant athletes, fascinating characters and championship events that reside outside of the mainstream,” Vice said. The companies will also develop a short-form animated series.
Additionally, select Vice Sports series including episodes from “The Clubhouse” will run across ESPN’s linear and digital channels, including WatchESPN. Full episodes of “Vice World of Sports” will air on ESPN properties after it premieres every Wednesday at 11 p.m. on Viceland.