AXN is set to launch its High Definition (HD) channel on April 6th. All the shows available on the channel including the two brand new shows Dexter and 24 which will be launched on April 6th will be available to viewers on HD feed as well. The channel is talks with distributors for the channels availability across all DTH and MSO platforms. Also the RIO pricing of HD is intended to be at around Rs 30.
Currently AXN HD will have not have any special content or shows curated for it, but might change at a later stage in time. The marketing activities will include ads on MSM network followed by ads on print and finally promotion of digital.
Apart from this AXN will be introducing an all new programming line-up and schedule which will be for the Weekday and Weekend time-bands. The channel will also be putting an end to its movie programming which it had on Sunday. The fixed channel programming (FCP) on weekdays will include AXN classic or signature shows such as Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Guinness, American Ninja and Wipeout at the 8-9pm slot. This will be followed by reality television at 9-10 pm with shows like Fear Factor, So You Think You Can Dance, Top Chef, America’s Next Top Model, Survivor, The Amazing Race, etc. The 10 pm slot has a host of crime shows like 24, Elementary, NCIS, CSI, etc. The 11 pm slot will set the boundaries higher with edgy and engrossing shows like Dexter, Ray Donovan, Sex and the City, Californication, etc.
The weekend slot will witness the latest seasons of shows with fresh content airing closer to US dates. This is AXN’s ‘Not So Ordinary’ property which includes Sherlock S4, Supernatural S11, Orphan Black S3, Hannibal S3, Elementary S4, Voice S9 & S10, Madam Secretary S2, Extant S2, CSI: Cyber and Scorpion S3.
Apart from Dexter and 24 other new seasons of shows to be launched include Top Chef Masters Season 5 from 9th April, Monday to Friday at 8 pm. Survivor is back with it Season 27 from April 27th, Monday to Friday at 9 pm.
Commenting on the new programming strategy and the AXN HD launch, Saurabh Yagnik, EVP & Business Head, Sony PIX and AXN says, “Digitisation has opened an interesting opportunity for the category. For a start issues relating to Distribution and Availability have been addressed. Further, the category has now become more amenable to appointment based viewing. AXN is home to some of the most iconic characters from various shows. It also offers fresh from US shows on the weekend. On 6th April, the channel will bring to it is viewers two of the most iconic shows “24” at 10PM and “Dexter” at 11PM right from the beginning all Mondays to Fridays. AXN is also seeking to enhance its appeal to viewers with the launch of its HD feed. With this we hope to make Week-Nights Thrill-Nights for our viewers exclusively on AXN and AXN HD.”
The channel is looking to grow its audience through a shift to build appoint based viewing for the category by offering sticky content. They are backing this up by major efforts on engagement of viewers through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, which are the highest in English GEC category.