Bandai Channel to Stream Anime in U.S., Eurasia at Start of 2010

posted on by Egan Loo
Namco Bandai company switches to Flash to stream first Gundam in Japan

Nikkei Business Publications' ITpro website reports that Bandai Channel is aiming to launch a distribution service for Japanese animation in America, Europe, and Asia simultaneously at the beginning of next year. Bandai Channel, the Namco Bandai Group company which handles video distribution, began streaming all 43 episodes of the first Mobile Suit Gundam series in Japan using Adobe Systems' Flash technology on July 20. Bandai Channel had been using Windows Media Video technology to stream in Japan until recently. However, Bandai Channel has switched to Flash in what ITpro describes as part of the first step in developing the business plans for worldwide distribution.

According to ITpro, Bandai Channel is working on a new video distribution system which allows for centralized content management. It plans to roll out the system in Japan in October, followed by America, Europe, and Asia at the beginning of next year.

Nihon Keizai Shimbun, a newspaper affiliated with Nikkei Business Publications, reported in April that Namco Bandai is aiming to distribute its franchise of Gundam science-fiction anime series in 10 languages worldwide, although the report said the worldwide distribution would start within 2009. Last December, Bandai began streaming anime episodes of its Tamagotchi! virtual pet franchise on the YouTube video-sharing site for free in seven languages. In February, the North American anime distributor Bandai Entertainment announced that it is streaming the Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion and Mobile Suit Gundam 00 anime series on YouTube as well. Sunrise, a Namco Bandai Group anime production company, animated both titles. In January, Kurokami The Animation premiered on television in Japan, South Korea, and the United States within 24 hours of each other. The American release was handled by Bandai Entertainment.

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