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Vice, Antenna plot Euro expansion

Vice Media will launch in four new territories in Eastern Europe next year through its strategic alliance with Greece’s Antenna Group.

Shane Smith

Shane Smith

The two companies teamed up in early 2014 with the aim of introducing youth-skewing multimedia brand Vice to Eastern European countries.

The first three local editions of Vice – in Greece (May 2014), Serbia (November 2014) and Romania (January 2015) – have outperformed initial expectations. Vice Greece has managed to rank among the top Vice websites globally in terms of growth and has won numerous awards.

The alliance is now ready to launch new Vice operations in 2016 across Russia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Croatia, with other territories also on the radar for potential future roll-outs.

Antenna Group CEO Theodore Kyriakou said: “We are very proud and happy with this venture. Vice is a true leader in producing and distributing contemporary multimedia content.

“This partnership is a great example of our commitment to invest in and expand the media industry and to bring the most innovative products and services to our audiences.”

Vice’s content for the region is produced in Greece. Following a visit to the local offices in Athens last week, Vice co-founder and CEO Shane Smith praised Antenna’s knowhow in content production and the abilities of local journalists and artists.

Smith said: “We are looking at the success of Vice Greece as a case study, so that we can enter more countries such as Bulgaria, Czech Republic, and Russia following the launch of Vice in Serbia and Romania.”

Smith shared his thoughts about moving into television. The Vice TV show in Serbia scores viewing shares of 25%. “Vice is an online powerhouse reaching 200–250 million people a month,” he said. “Now we are moving into television and with partners like Antenna Group who have great experience in terrestrial television we are going to be doing all three screens as well as OTT.

“We want to exist on all platforms at all times. It doesn’t matter if it is old media or new media, we want to be the best media.”

Vice currently operates a network of digital channels featuring award-winning video programming and editorials, with a focus on news, music, culture, technology, sports and fashion.

Last week the company revealed it is talking to the likes of Netflix, ITV and Discovery Communications about plans to launch a dozen TV networks across Europe.

Antenna Group operates in Greece, Serbia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Romania, Cyprus, Australia and the US in the fields of free-to-air and pay television, radio, publishing, TV production, digital media, music, telecommunications and education.

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