Sony Pictures Entertainment to Launch Animax Asia

Oct 29th 2003
Culver City, CA, October 29, 2003 - Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) announced today the continued expansion of the international networks portfolio of Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) with the launch of Animax Asia in January 2004. Based in Singapore, Animax Asia will be the first 24-hour-a-day network outside of Japan dedicated to popular animé from Japan. The announcement was made today by Todd Miller, Senior Vice President, International Networks, Asia, SPTI, and Masao Takiyama, President and Representative Director, Animax Broadcast Japan, Inc.

Launched in Japan in June 1998 as a partnership between SPE and four major animé studios including Toei Animation, Sunrise, TMS Entertainment, and Nihon Ad Systems, Animax has become the number one cable and satellite network in Japan and is the world's first network branded and dedicated to popular Japanese animation.

Animax Asia will be launched as a collaboration between SPTI's teams in Singapore and Tokyo, with the Singapore team contributing to market knowledge and the operations of the network with Tokyo contributing the expertise on the brand and animé.

Animax Asia will be broadcast region-wide via three dedicated, highly customized services for Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. Targeting the youth and young adult audience, the service will be an encrypted service and distributed via satellite and cable. Basic cable carriage agreements have already been lined up in key territories including Taiwan, Hong Kong, Philippines and Indonesia.

"SPTI is committed to providing programming that television viewers want, and the tremendous popularity of animé across Asia gives us the confidence to launch Animax Asia," said Miller. "In Asia there are some 94 million TV viewers of anime. Animé's broad appeal promises to make Animax a hit with cable operators looking to drive subscription revenues and with advertisers seeking a youth audience. We've been enormously successful with AXN, and we will leverage our experience in the region to replicate the same success for Animax Asia."

"Featuring the most engaging product from Japan's top animé producers, Animax's cutting edge programming and innovative packaging have made it the most popular and widely watched C&S channel since it launched five years ago in Japan. In fact, the ratings show that Animax exceeds certain terrestrial channels among C&S subscribers," said Takiyama. "Since Animax is a leader in this genre, we have extensive relationships and knowledge which will benefit Animax Asia to reach the huge potential audience for this type of programming in the Asia region."

About Animax Asia
Scheduled to launch in January 2004, Animax Asia will be a 24-hour animation channel featuring the best animé shows from Japan. Animax Asia will be broadcast region-wide from Singapore via three dedicated, highly customized services for Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. Animax Asia is a Sony Pictures Entertainment company.

About Animax Japan
Animax is a 24-hour non-stop animation channel featuring the top anime shows Japan has to offer. Animax is the one stop destination for animé fans of all ages, and can be enjoyed by the entire family. Offered on SkyPerfecTV, SkyPerfecTV2, and Cable Television, Animax is currently viewed in 4 million households (Oct. 2003.)

About Sony Pictures Television International
Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) continues to expand its worldwide distribution of current television series along with motion picture and television library assets to broadcasters around the world. International networks are a key strategy in SPTI's long-range commitment to the global marketplace, with 30 channels in more than 100 countries reaching over 230 million viewers worldwide. In addition to distributing U.S. series around the world, SPTI also recognizes the need for high profile, locally produced television. With dedicated offices in Brazil, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Mexico, Spain and the United Kingdom, SPTI currently oversees production in eight countries and regions. SPTI is a Sony Pictures Entertainment company.

About Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America (SCA), a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; digital content creation and distribution; worldwide channel investments; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of filmed entertainment in 67 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.sonypictures.com.

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