Television

Animax to launch in India 5 July

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MUMBAI: SPE Networks Asia today announced plans to launch the highly successful anime channel, Animax, in India on 5 July.

The dedicated Animax South Asia feed follows the successful Animax Asia rollout that began with Taiwan on New Year's Day, Hong Kong on 12 January, and the South East Asia service on 19 January. Animax, which is completely devoted to popular animation from Japan - anime - launched first in Japan. India will therefore mark the fifth Animax operation in Asia.

Customized for India and dubbed in Hindi and English, will be a general entertainment channel that targets kids and young adults as well.

The One Alliance will distribute Animax across India, and SET India will represent Animax in advertising sales.

The programming timeblocks on the India-specific service will have four prime time blocks:

Kids Hour Weekdays from 3-7pm, dubbed in Hindi, for children in primary school

Youth Hour Weekdays from 7-9pm, dubbed in English, for teenagers and kids in secondary school

Mega Zone Weekdays from 9-11pm, dubbed in English, featuring blockbuster anime series which appeals to a wide demographic

Weekend Anime ensuring the weekends are just as exciting as weekdays, with some of the hottest anime programs, also dubbed in English, premiering on weekends.

Animax will feature some of the hottest and world's most popular Japanese animation series from Japan's top anime studios and producers, including the story of the world's most-loved anime character, AstroBoy; Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, whose original movie Ghost in the Shell inspired the Wachowski Brothers blockbuster Matrix Trilogy; Samurai X, one of the most popular anime in the world; and Arjuna, a story about a young archer girl, which was inspired by the tale of Arjuna, one of the Pandava brothers in the Hindu epic Mahabaratha.

"India is a youthful market. 43% of India's 1 billion population is under age 20. Animax will tap into this big, vibrant, and entertainment-hungry market," Todd Miller, managing director of SPE Networks Asia, which operates AXN Asia and Animax Asia. "The themes that can be found in most anime stories transcend language, culture and origin. The unique programming on Animax will resonate with India's youth," Miller is quoted as saying in an official release.

SET India CEO Kunal Dasgupta was quoted as saying: "The arrival of Animax strengthens The One Alliance's position as India's leading bouquet. The One Alliance is well-positioned to provide top-rated television viewing experiences for viewers of all ages across all programming genres."

The One Alliance is a joint venture between Sony Entertainment Television India and Discovery Communications India.

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