Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) is looking at further expanding its presence in Asia by launching its anime channel Animax in Korea in the second quarter of 2006.
SPTI formed a joint venture with Korean satellite TV broadcaster SkyLife to launch the 24-hour Animax Korea. The announcement was made today by SPTI president international networks Andy Kaplan and SkyLife CEO and president Dongkoo Surh.
Under the agreement, Animax Korea will be a local programme provider based in Korea focusing on animation programming. It will be carried exclusively on SkyLifeâ€™s DTH platform, which has a subscriber base of about 1.9 million in Korea.
“Since the launch of Animax Asia in January 2004, we have seen exponential growth â€“ from one million households when it launched to more than 22 million Asian households. I am confident that Animax Koreaâ€™s incredible anime programming, combined with SkyLifeâ€™s strong distribution network, will make Animax Korea a destination for viewers in Korea. With the expansion to Korea, Animax will be an even more effective advertising platform for multinational advertisers to extend their promotional reach,” said Kaplan.
“Korea is an important market for us and figures prominently in our channels expansion strategy. SPTI in Asia provides popular programming to huge audiences in the region and weâ€™re honoured to bring Animax to Korean audiences, just as we did with action entertainment programming with the launch of AXN in July this year. Anime is extremely popular and Animax has become a favourite among cable and satellite operators for its advertiser-friendly audience, and judging by its track record, we hope the channel will also become a destination for viewers in Korea,” said SPTI senior vice president and managing director Asia Todd Miller.
Surh added, “We are delighted to have a partnership with SPTI in providing a high quality animation channel on our platform. With SPTIâ€™s expertise as a worldwide entertainment group, we are confident that Animax Korea will help to make SkyLifeâ€™s channel line-up even stronger and more competitive.”
The launch of Animax Korea is part of SPTIâ€™s expansion plans for its international network portfolio which now includes over 40 channels. In Asia, SPTI launched AXN in Korea in July 2005. AXN was the first international general entertainment channel approved for retransmission in Korea. Outside Asia, Animax has extended its reach to Latin America with the launch of Animax Latin America in July 2005, and in November this year, AXN launched in Italy.