Reality series at centre of AXN's new programming initiative

AXN channel, part of the Sony Entertainment Television franchise, yesterday announced its new programming strategy which would be built around five programme slots - series, movies, adventure & reality, lifestyle sports and animation.

While elaborating on the new initiative, Shantonu Aditya, senior vice president franchise channels and distribution, announced a slew of new programmes in the reality genre. Billed as the "extraordinary month", the programmes unveiled included the sequel to the "Survivor" series, "Survivor 2: The Australian Outback". Also showcased were three new series - "Ripley's Believe It or Not", "Core Culture" and "Exploring the Unknown".

Queried on how the original "Survivor", which attracted over 50 million viewers in the US in its final episode, fared in India, Aditya would only say that when the series was on air, it managed to capture 26 per cent of Indian audiences tuning into English programmes.

The final episode of "Survivor 2: The Australian Outback" aired on CBS in the US on Thursday and Tina Wesson, a nurse from Tennessee, walked away with the $ 1 million prize, it has been reported. "Survivor 2" never managed the kind of viewership that "Survivor" brought in but it was still a success for CBS. How Indian audiences take to "Survivor 2" considering the less than spectacular run of the original "Survivor" in India will be watched with interest.

AXN, which essentially targets 18 to 34-year-olds, currently reaches 18 million C&S households in India, Aditya said, quoting AC Nielsen TAM data. This was over 80 per cent growth from the 10 million penetration recorded in April last year, he added.

An interesting statistic that Aditya provided was that contrary to the general feeling that the channel had a largely young male viewership, 41 per cent of AXN's audience was female. This figured favourably with the norm in the west which had a 46:54 female to male ratio, Aditya said.

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