Vice has extended its presence in Australia with the launch of its dedicated sports channel, Vice Sports Australia & New Zealand, which editor Andy Bellairs hopes will “fill a void in sports media of original storytelling”.
“From the start we’re not there to provide you with live scores; there’s plenty of websites out there that do that. We’re in a position to talk about sport and the role it plays in society. Personally, I just want to tell really good stories,” Bellairs said.
“We’re trying to fill what I see is a void in the current sports media at the moment. There’s so much content online – that is fantastic, but we want to fill that void of original storytelling and offer a really interesting variety of content over all sports and tell the stories that haven’t been told.”
Bellairs said the focus is on “all sports”.
“We know from what we’ve seen was popular in the US, a lot of the UK football premier league stuff and American basketball stuff was popular amongst an Australian audience; we’ll be continuing to provide that as much as we can,” he said.
“On local content it will be anything from Australian football and both rugby codes. We’re also looking at the cult figures in sport and the fun around sport, as well as the issues, the nostalgia, the role it plays in our lives.”
Vice Sports Australia & New Zealand will focus on premium video content.
“There’s a big focus on video – it’s an important part of Vice Sports globally,” Bellairs said.
At launch, a key piece of video sees Tanzanian boxer Omari Kimweri – who fled the Athletes’ Village during the 2006 Commonwealth Games with the intention of defecting from Tanzania, spending nine months hiding on a tobacco farm 300km north of Melbourne – speak with Vice Sports about his last chance at a Light Flyweight World Title shot.
Bellairs said the launch of the site does offer local advertisers a number of commercial opportunities, especially around premium video.
“There are definite avenues for commercial sponsorship of video content and other bits and pieces,” he said.
Vice Sports will announce local brand partnerships in the near future.
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