SPE Networks, Asia has decided to launch anime channel Animax in India on July 5, 2004. This follows the Animax Asia rollout three months ago. Animax South Asia is the only 24-hour channel in India featuring animated content. As is known, the channel will come on the One Alliance platform.
Kunal Dasgupta, CEO, SET India, says, “The arrival of Animax strengthens One Alliance’s position as India’s leading bouquet. One Alliance is well-positioned to provide top-rated television viewing experiences for viewers of all ages across all programming genres.” One Alliance is a joint venture between Sony Entertainment Television India and Discovery Communications India.
Commenting more on the channel, Todd Miller, Managing Director of SPE Networks, Asia observes, “India is a youthful market and 43% of India’s one billion population is under age 20. Animax will tap into this big, vibrant and entertainment-hungry market. The themes that can be found in most anime stories transcend language, culture and origin. The programming on Animax will resonate with India’s youth.”
Customised for India and dubbed in Hindi and English, Animax is positioned to target India’s youth and young adults with programming that’s designed for animation fans of all ages. The One Alliance will distribute Animax across India, and SET India will represent Animax in advertising sales.
The programming time-blocks on the India-specific service will have four primetime blocks: Kids Hour, which is planned on weekdays from 3.00 to 7.00 pm, dubbed in Hindi, for children in primary school. This is followed by Youth Hour that’s slated for weekdays 7.00 pm to 9.00 pm, dubbed in English and meant for teenagers and kids in secondary schools. The third block, Mega Zone is lined up for weekdays in the 9.oo to 11.00 pm slot, dubbed in English and featuring blockbuster anime series that attempt to appeal to a wide demography. Then there is weekend Anime – ensuring the weekends are just as exciting as weekdays, with some of the hottest anime programmes, also dubbed in English, premiering on weekends.
Animax will feature Japanese animation series including works like AstroBoy, Ghost in the Shell, Stand Alone Complex, whose original movie Ghost in the Shell inspired the Wachowski Brothers’ blockbuster Matrix Trilogy; Samurai X, one of the most popular anime in the world; and Arjuna, a story about a young archer girl, who was inspired by the epical hero Arjuna.
India will mark the fifth Animax operation in Asia: Three Animax Asia feeds (servicing Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia) plus Animax Japan, the world’s first channel dedicated to anime and Japan’s most popular cable and satellite network. Currently, there are more than 5.5 million Animax homes in Japan and Southeast Asia.