Interview: Encore Media

Anime News Network Exclusive Interview with Encore Media Director of Programming Nancy Silverstone & Encore Media Director of Entertainment PR Steve Belgard

Anime News Network: Has anime programming on the Encore Action Network been a success?
The response thus far has been very positive. Viewers have expressed their desire to see more Anime on our Action Channel.

ANN: How has the premier of Blue Seed this month gone?
The original run ends in January. We are anxiously looking forward to hearing from our viewers regarding their thoughts on the "Blue Seed" series.

ANN: I noticed that you broadcasted interviews with some of the voice actors of Blue Seed. Do you plan to do this with other series?
We made contact with quite a few voice actors at the Denver convention who expressed interest in doing interviews for us. We will pursue them and down the road you will see them on the Action Channel.

ANN: Last September, you attended your first anime convention Nan Desu Kon in Denver Colorado. How many of your staff attended and what did you enjoy about the convention?
Five members of our staff attended the convention. It was great to run into Anime fans and it gave us a chance to meet them one-on-one and find out what they were watching and why they were watching it.

ANN: Will you be attending any conventions next year?
At the moment, we're not sure what conventions we will be attending.

ANN: In the latest issues of Gamer's Republic and Tokyo Pop, there's full-page color ads promoting anime on the Encore Action Channel. What magazines do you plan to advertise in besides these two?
Our current plan is to run a web banner in Tokyo Pop.

ANN: How many people have called the 1-888 number since the advertisements have started?
We are getting the 1-888 hits. As of November 23, we have generated 26,250 hits on the website.

ANN: You recently opened a website called Can you describe what Encore is trying to do with this website?
Our goal for the website is to reach our viewers and give them a head's up on our Anime programming.

ANN:I noticed a picture of Princess Mononoke on the site. Encore earlier this fall announced a new distribution deal with Buena Vista to distribute all their movies on your pay- per view networks. Does this include Princess Mononoke and other Studio Ghibli films?
Firstly, we are a premium pay channel and not a pay-per-view channel. As for now, Mononoke is the only film on our slate. Let me state that Action is 1 of 13 STARZ! Encore movie channels that can be purchased as a bouquet of channels versus the price per purchase of pay per view.

ANN: When can we expect Princess Mononoke to premiere on Encore Action and will you also play a sub-titled version of Mononoke Hime?
We should expect to have the movie at some future date. The actual premiere of Mononoke will be on STARZ! bringing anime to our main movie channel for the first time. It will then have its subsequent play on Action. Actually, we may play it during the first window the same way that we have done so with Ghost in the Shell. Also, we would air both the dubbed and subtitled versions should they be available. Most of our anime product comes in the dubbed version, only.

ANN: Are there any plans to put anime on any of the other Encore or Starz networks besides the Encore Action Channel?
I would think Kiki's Delivery Service would be an excellent film to put on Encore WAM, which caters to families. We are always open to the possibilty of anime programming on WAM and our other services. It's certainly possible sometime in the future.

ANN: When do you plan to announce new titles to premier on your network?
The titles will be listed in our programming guides and on the website.

ANN: Is there any thoughts about co-producing an anime title with a Japanese or American studio?
We are always open to that possibility.

ANN: The website DVD Animania run by Kevin Cook, was able to gather over 2,000 signature for a petition for Encore to create either an all anime channel, or an Live Action Asian/anime channel. Did you see this and if so, what is your response to this petition?
We've seen it and think it's fabulous. We hope that the petition gets all cable providers to offer the Action Channel.

ANN: At a recent anime convention in Atlanta(AWA), Cartoon Network hinted at spinning off their Toonami programming block and creating a new channel devoted to anime. Sci Fi Network also regularly plays anime on their network every Saturday. Any thoughts about when Encore could possibly announce creating an all anime channel for the US?
We have to learn to walk before we run. We're monitoring how well Anime does on the Acton Channel. Then we'll evaluate where we go from there.

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