Animax, the Animé Channel from Sony Pictures Television International, to Launch in Germany
Announcement follows agreement with Unity Media for distribution of the channel on its digital cable network Follows recent announcement of re-branding of SPTI's anime channel in Central Europe to Animax
London – Monday 14th May 2007 – Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) today announced that its animé channel, Animax, is to launch in Germany. The announcement was made following the signing of an agreement with Unity Media, the first distribution partner for Animax in the country. The channel will commence broadcasting from early June 2007 and will be available to digital pay-tv subscribers in the German regions of North Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse. The region is one of Germany's most prosperous and populated regions with over five million cable households. Further roll out of the channel through other distribution partners is to follow over the coming months. The announcement was made by Ross Hair, SPTI's Senior Vice President, International Networks.
Animax will be the first and only TV channel in Germany focusing exclusively on animé programming. The channel is clearly targeted at the tech-savvy 15 – 29 youth market, bringing the best in animé content from Sony's spiritual home in Japan. Closer to launch, SPTI will confirm the programming line up on the channel which will run 24 hours a day and will include many genres such as comedy, horror, romance, crime and sci-fi. Animax is already a firmly established brand name in Asia and Latin America and is one of SPTI's most successful channels, airing in 36 million homes in 38 countries and in 11 languages.
Commenting on the announcement, Hair said: “We have ambitious plans for the roll-out of our Animax brand across Europe and today's announcement of our Germany launch marks the next stage of those plans. We believe there is significant potential for a dedicated anime channel in Germany and for the delivery of anime content cross-platform.”
Also commenting, Parm Sandu, CEO of Unity Media said: "As a dynamic cable network operator in one of Europe's core economic regions, Unity Media is partner of choice for many content providers. We believe that Animax will be a success in the German market and that the channel will make our digital programme offering even more colourful for our subscribers."
The growing appetite for animé is particularly noticeable in the increased terrestrial airtime in France, Italy, Spain, Germany and the UK – all markets in which SPTI is actively exploring opportunities to establish the Animax brand on TV, mobile and as a VOD service. SPTI already has a successful animé channel in Central Europe which the company recently announced is being re-branded to Animax. The channel has over four million subscribers in Hungary, Romania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
About Animé Animé is a term for Japanese animation which is different from the animation we are familiar with in the West. In Japan, from where it originated, anime covers more serious topics than typical cartoons and is followed by all ages. There is a common misconception that anime is violent or graphic. The reality is that anime has a wide viewership and includes many genres such as comedy, horror, romance, sci-fi and kids. Recent worldwide successes of animé movies outside of Japan have made animé content increasingly sought after by US and European broadcasters. The audience following animé is highly motivated, hugely loyal and is passionate about animé not only as exciting programming but as an art form.
About Animax Animax is one of SPTI's diverse portfolio of global networks. Launched in June 1998 in Japan and in July 2005 in Latin America, the channel offers the most sought after and cutting edge animé in the world. Animax is the option for people looking for an alternative to traditional television. It's a channel for those who enjoy themselves and who want to go further. The channel is firmly established in Asia and Latin America and is one of SPTI's most successful channels, airing 24 hours a day in 36 million homes in 38 countries and in 11 languages. Animé on the Animax channels in Europe will have some appropriately scheduled children's content but will be primarily geared to teenagers and young adults in the 15-29 year group. Further information about Animax is available at HYPERLINK "http://www.animax-asia.com" www.animax-asia.com
About Sony Pictures Television International Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) is the division of Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) responsible for all television business outside of the United States. SPTI operates three complementary lines of business: 1) distribution of SPE's feature films and television programming to television, mobile and digital content delivery outlets around the world, 2) local television production in key international markets, and 3) international television networks. In addition to being a leader in the distribution of current and classic U.S. and international films and television product worldwide, SPTI produces high profile, locally produced television in local languages. With dedicated offices in France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Miami (Latin America), the People's Republic of China, Russia, Spain and the United Kingdom, SPTI currently oversees production in nine regions of the world and is the leader in international television production among all major Hollywood studios. SPTI's worldwide television networks portfolio is a key strategy in the SPE's long-range commitment to the global marketplace, with over 40 networks in more than 130 countries reaching over 298 million households worldwide. SPTI is a Sony Pictures Entertainment company.