In June, Vice will launch Vice Sports, a new channel aimed at the world of athletics. The initiative was first announced at Digital Content Newfronts, but today, a new video has provided an additional update: The Vice Sports channel will take over The NOC, a one-time entry in the YouTube Original Channels Initiative.
The NOC first launched in early 2012 as one of the first channels funded by YouTube’s $100 million original programming push. In its first year, it became one of the best sports channels on YouTube through creative web series like Metta World Therapy and Fighter Vs. Food. However, once YouTube pulled the plug on the Original Channels Initiative, The NOC’s funding dried up, and it posted no new videos for more than 16 months. We missed it a lot.
That streak has now ended. On May 23rd, The NOC announced its plan to rebrand into Vice Sports:
By launching its new sports vertical on top of an existing channel, Vice will be able to gain a 266,000 subscriber head start. Logically, Vice will also direct additional viewers from its other channels, allowing Vice Sports to get a fast start out of the gate.
It’s unclear how much of The NOC’s previous style will shine through on the new channel, though the new video claims that Vice Sports will cover major sporting events in addition to providing the same distinct style of rule-breaking journalism that has become Vice’s calling card. We’ll know how Vice Sports balances these elements when it launches in June–just in time for the NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Finals, and World Cup.