With the switch from SBS2 to SBS VICELAND, Marc Fennell explains how it will effect The Feed and what has him excited about the new channel.
11 Nov 2016 - 3:21 PM  UPDATED 15 Nov 2016 - 2:48 PM

When it was first announced that SBS2 would make the switch to become SBS VICELAND on 15 November, lots of viewers first reaction was to find out what would happen to If You Are The One. But immediately after that, they asked about The Feed.

Rest assured, not only will The Feed stay on air as part of SBS VICELAND, but after its end-of-year hiatus, the show will return with a redesigned set and an expanded team with Michael Hing and Laura Murphy-Oates joining full-time. 

Marc Fennell, who co-hosts the show with Jan Fran, could not be happier about the SBS VICELAND launch. The Guide sat down with Fennell to get his thoughts on the new channel and what it means for his show.

The Guide: What will change for The Feed?

Marc Fennell: New graphics. We’re adding more people to the show with Michael Hing and Laura Murphy-Oates. The show has a new look, but in many ways the show doesn’t change that much.We’re not really throwing out the baby with the bathwater. People who watch the show really like the show. It is one of the highest rating things on what is currently SBS2. It will be nice to have programming around us that are more in the vein of what we do. I think, in terms of what actually changes about The Feed – not an incredible amount. 

The Guide: So, is SBS VICELAND being designed to fit around The Feed, rather than The Feed being retrofitted to fit into SBS VICELAND?

Marc Fennell: It’s just a very good match. It’s arrogant of me to suggest that this entire galaxy of content fits around The Feed. The reason I like it is it is great content that I would watch. But there’s a whole world of people out there that don’t know The Feed that would just like this stuff. Hopefully they come for Gaycation, F*ck That’s Delicious, or Black Market and find The Feed. Part of the problem with SBS2 was there was a lot of random content around us that doesn’t fit together as well. If feels like a proper family of content now.

The Guide: What SBS VICELAND shows have you watched and what have you been excited by?

Marc Fennell: I’ve watched at least one episode of them all. For me, States of Undress is the most exciting. Fashion on TV is one of those areas that is really under-mined. I think there are great shiny-floor shows like Project Runway, but a show that addresses the fact that what we wear is about our identity and our culture, while doing it in a way that is sexy and fun and beautiful, I thought that was an ‘oh shit. That’s amazing’ moment.

The first episode of Noisey, about Bompton, was incredible. The ones I think are incredible are Gaycation, Black Market, States of Undress, and Huang’s World. I’m a mad-keen cooking fan and Huang’s World is my dream food show.

Cyberwar is an incredible show. Five years I was having a conversation at a production company about why there isn’t a proper technology show dealing with the fact that the next war we fight will be a digital one. Five years ago, but they couldn’t work out how to put it on TV. Fast forward to this year and VICELAND has handed us a show that is the perfect show for our information security era.

Everytime I look at a new show come through, I think “this is exactly the content I wish had been on TV and somebody is finally making it”.

There is nothing there that I am embarrassed to be on air before or after.

The Guide: Have any shows really surprised you?

Marc Fennell: Vice World of Sports is one of those fascinating experiences where, I don’t give a fuck about sport. Never in my life have I given a fuck about sport. But there was an awesome episode about a town in the eastern Europe where there is one city completely divided over a football match where both sides absolutely hate each other. No one can explain why, but it gets violent, criminal, and they have to bring in riot police. No one can explain the rift. And that’s a great story. Sport is one of the greatest access points to understanding culture and how we interact. I defy anyone to look at that story and not think it is on charter for SBS.

I just want people to watch the shows because they will understand that a) they’re great; and b) it is so on point for what SBS is and does. So much of the heart of SBS is about culture and what makes us different. If you understand what makes us different, our bonds as a nation and a world are stronger. Some people will love it, others will hate it, but most of these shows they will understand why it makes sense.

The Guide: For the five years that The Feed has been on, it has been different to all other free-to-air shows in Australia, but now on SBS VICELAND where every show will have a compatible voice, does that mean The Feed has to step up its game?

Marc Fennell: I think so. The fight is on for us to own our point of difference. We’re not trying to be 730, we’re not trying to be The Project. We have a clear voice, we have a clear audience, we’re surrounded by some of the best filmmakers and best documentary makers in the world and we have to make sure we cover Australia with an equivalent or greater sense of excitement, engagement, and insight. We have to find things no one else is talking about to really live up to the promise of the channel is.

SBS VICELAND launches on 15 November. The Feed continues Monday-Friday at 7:30pm.

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