An important revenue generation for Time Warner, HBO here expands its media footprint, which already includes a multimedia network, digital channels, a television and feature film production studio, a magazine, a record label and a book-publishing division.
HBO had already been toying with this genre with weekly news programming “Real Time with Bill Maher" and more recently with the comedy-based “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.”
Vice looks to offer an alternative format for one’s daily new story consumption. According to a press statement from Shane Smith, Vice Media founder, the deal “allows Vice the freedom to go after any story, anywhere we find it – and to do so with complete independence."
If Vice does that, focusing on perhaps a select few stories or a single daily story, it could shift news coverage, perhaps with a nod to what the “PBS NewsHour” had been in its earlier versions: “The MacNeil/Lehrer Report” and “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.”
TV news programming can be an expensive proposition, but also a mothership for a network. Local TV stations in the U.S. still depend heavily on their local news as a center attraction for their viewers.
So in that regard, in an increasingly a la carte TV world, HBO looks to single itself out from would-be competitors, as future TV consumers make crucial decisions on what their few key TV networks will be in the future.