Animax takes anime to Oz mobile users

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SYDNEY -- Sony Pictures Television International this week launched its Animax channel as a stand-alone mobile service on Hutchison Telecommunications' 3 service in Australia, SPTI executive vp programming and production international networks Marie Jacobsen said Thursday.

The Australian launch of Animax Mobile is the first in a global strategy to roll-out a dedicated mobile version of the studio's Japanese anime channel, which currently airs on cable and satellite platforms across Asia, Latin America, Central Europe and Germany. Animax does not currently air as a cable or satellite channel in Australia.

A Canadian launch will follow in July with Bell Mobility.

Jacobsen said that Animax Mobile is a "launch pad for SPTI's multiplatform network strategy," adding that it "extends the consumer experience to a vast and loyal fanbase seeking anytime anime content and culture in current and emerging markets."

The channel is targeting 14–34 year olds who use 3G handsets with mobile video streaming capability.

SPTI said in a statement that the new offering is a dedicated channel for mobile handsets rather than a rebroadcast, simultaneous co-transmission or cut-down version of an existing television channel. As such, it offers a two-hour loop of four full-length anime series, "Blood+," "Last Exile," "ROD the TV" and "The Count of Monte Cristo" as well as unique interstitial material, trivia and short-form, cult animation series.

Animax Mobile joins established brands like MTV, Cartoon Network, E! Entertainment, BBC World and ABC Kids on the 3 mobile service in Australia, which boasts 1.3 million customers.

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