You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Sony TV grows despite job cuts

First 24-hour anime channel to launch outside Japan

HONG KONG — Sony Corp.’s international television arm is expanding, despite the 20,000 job cuts announced by the Japanese giant.

In January, Sony Pictures Television Intl.’s Asian office will bring the first 24-hour anime channel to viewers outside Japan, in hopes of repeating the success of its five-year-old Animax Japan.

The popularity of the genre has grown in recent years, thanks to successes like “Pokemon.” Broadcast from SPTI’s Asian base in Singapore, Animax Asia will be split into feeds for Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia.

“There’s the language factor, but also we want to customize to viewers’ lifestyles,” says Todd Miller, senior VP of SPTI’s international networks, Asia, and managing director of Sony’s action and adventure channel AXN Asia.

“We can program for after school, for kids, and in Hong Kong there’s a strong tradition of late-night viewing among adults.”

The anime channel means that AXN Asia — which carries a mix of reality and adventure sports, movies, series and anime — will eventually reduce its anime content from its current two hours a day.

When SPTI launched AXN in the region six years ago, the channel was largely known for airing movies starring top actors when they were still relatively unknown. It has since evolved into a must-have by carrying up-to-date U.S. movies and TV series.

It matters little to Miller that terrestrial channels in some Asian markets carry the latest season of a show slightly ahead of AXN.

“In Hong Kong, if you miss one episode on terrestrial, you can turn to cable,” he says. “We thrive on reruns because it allows us to better fit in with today’s lifestyle. We don’t have first-run rights for shows like ‘Alias’ but that means we don’t have to do the heavy lifting for promotions. Instead, we promote shows like ‘The Shield,’ which are largely unfamiliar.”

When it comes to movies, AXN receives first pick among Sony’s Columbia crop. It also helps that Columbia has an Asian production arm that has co-produced titles including “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “Double Vision.”

AXN will also have the pay TV premiere of “Warriors of Heaven and Earth,” the He Ping-helmed film that is China’s foreign film Oscar submission.

AXN Asia reaches 30 million homes 24/7 and is broken into feeds for Southeast Asia, India and Taiwan. Like other channels, it has an eye on greater access to the China market.

For now however, Miller says the channel must be content with the programming blocks on the mainland, which reaches 40 million homes.

There is also talk of breaking out a separate feed for East Asia, catering to areas that aren’t in the same time zone as most of the market.

More TV

  • Neil Cavuto Gets Down to Business

    Neil Cavuto Gets Down to Business When Calling Out President Trump

    HONG KONG — Sony Corp.’s international television arm is expanding, despite the 20,000 job cuts announced by the Japanese giant. In January, Sony Pictures Television Intl.’s Asian office will bring the first 24-hour anime channel to viewers outside Japan, in hopes of repeating the success of its five-year-old Animax Japan. The popularity of the genre […]

  • Kerry Washington The Mothers

    Facebook Orders Drama Series for Watch With Kerry Washington Producing (EXCLUSIVE)

    HONG KONG — Sony Corp.’s international television arm is expanding, despite the 20,000 job cuts announced by the Japanese giant. In January, Sony Pictures Television Intl.’s Asian office will bring the first 24-hour anime channel to viewers outside Japan, in hopes of repeating the success of its five-year-old Animax Japan. The popularity of the genre […]

  • Bob Greenblatt NBC

    Robert Greenblatt on the Importance of Speaking Up and Making Voices Heard

    HONG KONG — Sony Corp.’s international television arm is expanding, despite the 20,000 job cuts announced by the Japanese giant. In January, Sony Pictures Television Intl.’s Asian office will bring the first 24-hour anime channel to viewers outside Japan, in hopes of repeating the success of its five-year-old Animax Japan. The popularity of the genre […]

  • The Four Fox

    Fox Enlists iHeartMedia to Boost Musical Competition 'The Four'

    HONG KONG — Sony Corp.’s international television arm is expanding, despite the 20,000 job cuts announced by the Japanese giant. In January, Sony Pictures Television Intl.’s Asian office will bring the first 24-hour anime channel to viewers outside Japan, in hopes of repeating the success of its five-year-old Animax Japan. The popularity of the genre […]

  • "The Relaxation Integration" -- Pictured: Amy

    TV Ratings: 'Big Bang Theory,' 'Good Doctor' Lead Scripted Shows Monday Night

    HONG KONG — Sony Corp.’s international television arm is expanding, despite the 20,000 job cuts announced by the Japanese giant. In January, Sony Pictures Television Intl.’s Asian office will bring the first 24-hour anime channel to viewers outside Japan, in hopes of repeating the success of its five-year-old Animax Japan. The popularity of the genre […]

  • Zelly Go

    Mipcom: Spain's Imira Entertainment Closes Wide-Ranging International Distribution Deal with Nickelodeon for Korean Animated Series 'Zelly Go’

    HONG KONG — Sony Corp.’s international television arm is expanding, despite the 20,000 job cuts announced by the Japanese giant. In January, Sony Pictures Television Intl.’s Asian office will bring the first 24-hour anime channel to viewers outside Japan, in hopes of repeating the success of its five-year-old Animax Japan. The popularity of the genre […]

  • Comedy Central Orders New Shows From

    Comedy Central Orders New Shows From 'SNL' Alums, 'G.L.O.W' Star

    HONG KONG — Sony Corp.’s international television arm is expanding, despite the 20,000 job cuts announced by the Japanese giant. In January, Sony Pictures Television Intl.’s Asian office will bring the first 24-hour anime channel to viewers outside Japan, in hopes of repeating the success of its five-year-old Animax Japan. The popularity of the genre […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content