My nightly programme The Feed will be a lynchpin of the channel alongside a bunch of shows. Some of those will be from Vice and some you already know from SBS2.
For me, It’s been super interesting to see the reaction to the SBS Viceland announcement. I kinda expected the usual “Ugh, why is SBS selling a channel to some US hipster douchebag corporation owned by Murdoch” garbage that comes with these things.
For the incredibly-easy-to-Google record, 21st Century Fox has a 5% stake in Vice Media who, in turn, SBS is partnering with to build a new channel which SBS 100% owns and operates. No precious publicly owned spectrum is being auctioned off to Uncle Rupert. We are creating something new out of two broadcasters that have an incredible amount in common.
And special note for my beloved ABC colleagues who seem to forget that the ABC's entire publishing arm ABC Books is an actual part of News Ltd. I know this because they are lovely and I've released two books with them... which you should absolutely buy. #RIPMySoul.
And as for the hipster douchebag charge….. just you wait. When the Viceland move was first discussed internally at SBS months ago I took the time to go through all of the shows that Viceland had produced and I was floored. SBS will make an announcement very soon about the shows that will launch on the channel but let me assure you that I have seen stunning programmes on music, sexuality, feminism, technology, sports, food, alcohol, terrorism and yes, good ole fashioned drugs that simply blew me away. Beautiful filmmaking, great characters and stunning storytelling. There are programmes that both revel in hipsterism and utterly challenge it by showing you a world that almost never gets shown on tv. And certainly never shown with this panache.
For those wondering how the Viceland content fits within the SBS charter....
....I totally get it. It seems like an odd fit, right? Except when you see the content you will realise that the whole goal of Viceland is to explore a multicultural world through the prisms of music, sex, the environment, film, food and more. It’s globally focussed, it’s diverse, it’s fun and defiantly open-minded journalism and entertainment. As some of you know, I've been a passionate SBS presenter since I was a teenager with questionable choice in neckwear (see below). I believe deeply in SBS's capacity to capture the diversity of the world in a way that is informative and utterly entertaining. Frankly, this move will bring SBS2 far more in-line with our charter than some of our existing content. Certainly not "losing our way" as some have suggested.
Is a lot of the Viceland content produced by UK & US producers? Yeah. But we’re also bringing you a lot of those iconic programmes that only SBS can. That’s why it’s a partnership.
Oh and as an aside: By simple virtue of having The Feed, SBS Viceland will still have more first-run, live, original primetime Australian content per week than ABC2 has ever had per week.
Don't get me wrong, I love my weekly dose of Good Game and those sassy Tom Tilley specials but - on a per week basis - they don't add up to 3 years of live, nightly original journalism, comedy, forums and documentaries that The Feed has (and will) deliver.
Come November 15, SBS Viceland & The Feed will bring you Walkley and Logie-nominated Australian storytelling every night that is diverse, fun and generally bats way above its average for a multichannel. And as for the shows around us on the channel and on SBS OnDemand? Well, as I said…. just you wait.
Or give us a call and tell us what you want to see.