Vice Media to roll out local language news services, eyes TV deal

Funding will come from the $500 million investment it secured from U.S. firms

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New York-based Vice Media, whose edgy reportage has proved a hit with young people, is launching local news services in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Australia, Brazil and Mexico over the next six months, and is working on a terrestrial television deal.

“We are going to be ramping out local language territories for news because there’s been such a thirst for it,” founder and Chief Executive Shane Smith told Reuters. “We are going to have a lot more local language domestic content in each of these territories.”

The group - which counts Rupert Murdoch and Disney as investors - mixes hard-news reporting in Syria and Ukraine with packages on drugs and sex to appeal to teenagers and young adults, helping it win more than a million subscribers for its You Tube channel in seven months.

Funding will come from the $500 million investment it secured from U.S. firms Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV) and A+E Networks last month, which valued Vice at about $2.5 billion.

Smith said Vice was also working on buying TV networks, saying an announcement would come “sooner rather than later”.

“We are looking to buy not only a series of networks but also to have pretty much a comprehensive global terrestrial carriage deal, where we’ll be carried in between 150 and 200 countries from day one,” he said.

“These deal are consuming to set up but we are on the home stretch now.”

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