Animax takes anime to Oz mobile users

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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 airs on cable and satellite platforms across Asia, Latin America, Central Europe and Germany. Animax does not 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 fan base seeking anytime anime content and culture in current and emerging markets."

The channel is targeting 14- to 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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