Vme (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈbeme], a pun on veme, "watch me") is a Spanish-language broadcast television network formerly carried in association with public television stations created for the United States Hispanic market. It is currently pursuing a subscription-based video on demand model. Vme delivers drama, music, current affairs, food, lifestyle, nature and educational pre-school content to its viewers.
|Launched||May 1, 2003|
|Closed||January 16, 2017(OTA Affiliations only)|
|Owned by||V-me Media Inc.|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
|Slogan||Vme: Televisión Diferente|
|Sister channel(s)||Vme Kids |
The 24-hour digital broadcast service was launched on May 1, 2003, with a stated mission to entertain, educate and inspire families in Spanish with a contemporary mix of original productions, exclusive premieres, acquisitions, and popular public television programs from PBS and American Public Television, specially adapted for American Latinos.
The first venture of the media production and distribution company V-me Television Media Inc., it is a public-private partnership between WNET, a non-commercial educational public television station licensed to Newark, New Jersey, and the investment firm Baeza Group, the venture capital firm Syncom Funds, and Grupo PRISA from Spain, one of the world's largest Spanish and Portuguese-language media companies. WNET is a minority partner in the for-profit venture.
In April 2013, a Florida-based private investor group took control of V-me Media, Inc., the U.S. Hispanic content and distribution company that owns Spanish-language network V-me and V-me Kids. Financial terms of the deal and the percentage of the ownership of the new investors was not disclosed. The V-me Board includes former AOL executive and founder and CEO of DailyMe.com, chairman of the board, Syncom managing partner Terry Jones and WNET’s VP and general counsel Robert Feinberg. V-me founder, Mario Baeza, stepped down as chairman, but will continue to have an ownership interest. LPM is the largest stakeholder in V-me.
In December 2016, PBS announced that V-me would end its operations in 2017, following the expiration of the network's 10-year contracts with many of these stations, and transition exclusively to being broadcast on ten over-the-air affiliates and as a cable and satellite channel. One of V-me's over-the-air affiliates were dropped by March 31, 2017; many of these affiliates had already chosen to replace V-me with a 24-hour PBS Kids channel, which launched on January 16, 2017. V-me lost several of its affiliates upon the launch of the PBS Kids channel.
The network broadcasts a variety of programming in Spanish:
- Latino-focused lifestyle content: health, parenting, travel, food, home, design, self-improvement and sports programs
- Prime time drama series
- News and current affairs, with Oppenheimer Presenta and Jorge Gestoso Investiga
- Nature documentaries from BBC, National Geographic and PBS
- Latin films and TV miniseries
- Original music series, like Estudio Billboard
- Weekly arts and pop culture specials
- Educational preschool programs in Spanish (40 hours a week); children's television shows include:
- Everhart, Karen (February 12, 2007). "Multicast channels crowd bitstream: V-me, in Spanish, joins options for stations' DTV broadcasts". Current. Archived from the original on February 11, 2011. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
- "Vme - About Us". Archived from the original on August 3, 2011. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
- Jensen, Elizabeth (February 7, 2007). "Public Television Plans A Network for Latinos" (PDF). New York Times. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 24, 2011. Retrieved December 14, 2012.
- Sefton, Dru (April 23, 2012). "PubTV multicaster V-me faulted for airing 'ordinary commercials'". Current. Retrieved December 14, 2012.
- Sefton, Dru (December 14, 2016). "Spanish-language multicaster Vme will soon drop public TV service". Current. Archived from the original on December 19, 2018. Retrieved December 31, 2016.