Vice and ESPN are partnering on programming, with Vice Sports producing original series to air exclusively on ESPN platforms, including TV, digital and mobile. Select films from ESPN’s documentary series 30 for 30, meanwhile, will air on new cable net Viceland.
"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 CEO, Vice Media. “To be teaming up with ESPN, creating brand new sports shows for them, and then showing 30 for 30s 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!!"
Vice Sports and ESPN Films will create short-form series to run across 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,” said the two. Vice and ESPN are also 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. ESPN will feature digital cutdowns of Vice World of Sports, after premieres on Viceland. Full episodes will air on ESPN properties. Vice World of Sports premiered on Viceland April 27.
“Evoking manly tears from Shane Smith is no small task, and I take immense pride in that,” said John Skipper, president, ESPN, and cochairman, Disney Media Networks. “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.”