SBS Viceland releases programming slate

Arvind Hickman
By Arvind Hickman | 19 October 2016
Will advertisers embrace or avoid SBS Viceland's edgy youth-focused programming?

One of the most talked about youth TV channels has released its Australian programming slate ahead of a 15 November launch.

The youth-skewed SBS Viceland will showcase contemporary global cultural documentaries and programs, including shows that tackle underworld economies, LGBTQI cultures, global fashion, food, issues around drug use and the relationship between sport and society (see the SBS Viceland promo video and programs below).

Most of the content will be imported from Viceland although there will be an international news alternative in the nightly VICE News.

Popular SBS 2 shows will be retained, including The Feed, SBS PopAsia and cult Chinese dating show If You Are the One. There will also coverage of the weekly A-League match on Friday night.

SBS Viceland is one of the most anticipated TV channel launches in recent times. The decision to replace SBS 2 with SBS Viceland drew stinging criticism from some segments of the media, claiming it was a departure from the SBS charter and a sign the multicultural broadcaster should be merged with the ABC.

SBS chief executive Michael Ebeid defended the tie-up saying that Viceland produced culturally diverse, global content and the charters of the two organisations were “very much aligned”.

Regardless, SBS Viceland's launch has been widely anticipated and offers advertisers an opportunity to reach the often tricky millennial age group.

Carat Australia chief investment officer Ashley Earnshaw tells AdNews SBS has had a stellar year with 42% off peak growth and and there has been much intrigue in the market around SBS Viceland. He described SBS as a hidden gem of the TV industry.


Here's a rundown of the programs on SBS Viceland:

Black Market: Actor Michael K. Williams (The Wire, The Night Of) meets society's outcasts, from poachers in South Africa to carjackers in New Jersey, heroin-addicted shoplifters in London to stick-up boys in Brooklyn, in an unflinching look into the lives of the people who work in underworld economies. Drawing on his own past living on the fringes, Williams gains unprecedented access into these worlds, treading a dangerous line to bring us a glimpse of lifestyles that many of us rarely see.

Gaycation: Actress Ellen Page (Juno, Inception) and her best friend, Ian Daniel, set off on a journey to explore LGBTQI cultures around the world. From Japan to Brazil, they discover the multiplicity of LGBTQI experiences through amazing  people and their stories of struggle and triumph. From the threat of the rising far-right in Ukraine to the deep-rooted traditions of India, Ellen and Ian gain an understanding of how queer people navigate their identities around the globe in this Emmy-nominated program.

Weediquette: We are living in an age of radical transformation for the culture of marijuana. VICE correspondent Krishna Andavolu explores the world of weed by meeting people whose lives hang in the balance of a new pot paradigm. Krishna explores the ethics of marijuana use and legalisation, from those who say their lives have been improved by the drug to those who say they’ve been negatively impacted. Weediquette is a multi-faceted, diverse look at the plant that is sure to stimulate debate.

F*ck, That’s Delicious: F*ck, That's Delicious follows rap’s greatest bon vivant, Action Bronson as he travels the world meeting like-minded pleasure-seekers and eating his fair share of everything. Whether working his way through tagines in Morocco, paella in Barcelona, Italian in Melbourne, or Vietnamese food in Cabramatta, Action shows us that life is to be enjoyed as much as possible.

VICE News Tonight: VICE News Tonight brings an indispensable alternative source of international news to viewers, breaking major stories with its unique brand of intrepid, investigative journalism and hard-hitting storytelling. Airs weeknights at 7pm on SBS VICELAND, fast tracked from the US.

States of Undress: Former model Hailey Gates explores global fashion and issues the industry often ignores, showing us what the world wears, and why. Hayley travels to Palestine where fashion week is offering some women freedom of self-expression, Pakistan and Venezuela where expression through clothing is highly dangerous, and Russia where sanctions make it difficult for western fashion supply to meet demand, among other destinations.

Cut-Off: Cut-off is a special documentary on struggle and hope for youth in remote Canadian Indigenous communities. It’s about Indigenous youth facing each day with resilience, coping amid states of emergency over suicide epidemics, a lack of access to clean water and infrastructure breakdown. The documentary follows Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s exclusive visit to an isolated reserve.

Balls Deep: There are over seven billion lives happening on earth right now, and most are pretty interesting. To find out what humanity’s deal is, Thomas Morton hangs out with different groups of people and gives their lives a try, whether it’s living with a Muslim family fasting for the holy month of Ramadan, or living off some of the least live-off-able land on earth with the Eskimos and Innuit of Northern Alaska.

VICE World of Sports: VICE World of Sports chronicles unique stories from around the world that illustrate the relationship between sport and society. Host Selema Masekela travels to places such as Ghana, Cuba, and Kenya, among many others, to tell compelling stories that explore broad cultures, politics, places and people through the one thing connects them all: sport.

Cyberwar: Ben Makuch travels the world to meet with hackers, government officials, and dissidents to investigate the ecosystem of cyberwarfare. Ben delves deep into the NSA’s elite hacking force and asks who their targets are; tackles Iran’s ramped up cyber war offensive; explores Syria’s cyber battlefields; examines China’s multiple hacking attacks from Google to the US government, and much more.

Dead Set on Life: Dead Set on Life is a culinary travel show from the mind of Matty Matheson: a boisterously warm Canadian chef. Matty explores the diverse culinary offering of his native country, including Toronto’s multicultural melting pot, innipeg’s Filipino smorgasbord, and the traditional food of the First Nations people Portage La Prairie.

King of the Road: Thrasher’s legendary competition-come-road trip which sees the world’s best skatebaording teams duke it out on the gnarliest stairs, ramps and slabs of skateable concrete.

Noisey: A first-hand look into the cultures and artists behind some of the world’s most compelling music, with each episode focusing on a different global scene.

The Feed: News. People. Things. Daily. SBS’s award-winning news and current affairs program The Feed brings its new host line-up to SBS VICELAND. Laura Murphy-Oates (NITV) and Michael Hing (ABC’s Good Game) join Marc Fennell, Jeannette Francis and Patrick Abboud to bring young Australians The Feed’s unique mix of news, satire, live interviews and in-depth investigative reporting every night at 7.30pm.

SBS PopAsia: SBS PopAsia is Australia's number one stop for Asian pop. Hosted by Andy Trieu, the show features the hottest hits from across Asia including the very best K-Pop, J-Pop and C-pop every Sunday morning.

A-League: The weekly Friday night A-League match coverage will be once again hosted by Socceroo and former A-League Champion David Zdrilic along with chief football analyst, Socceroo Craig Foster. Match commentary each week will be provided by David Basheer and former Premier League star Michael Bridges. Reporter Lucy Zelic will be pitch side at each match with player and coach interviews as well as updates throughout the night.

If You Are the One: A worldwide cultural phenomenon – with particularly obsessive fan base in Australia - If You Are The One is a popular and addictive Chinese dating show.

The channel switchover from SBS 2 will take place at 4pm on Tuesday 15 November.

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