Posted: Mon., May 14, 2007, 2:36pm PT

Animax toons in Teutons

SPTI kicks off anime network

Sony Pictures Television Intl. (SPTI) will launch its anime channel, Animax, in Germany in a move that looks to be a prelude to bowing the service in other Western European countries.

Animax, aimed at the 15- to 29-year-old demo, will bow to digital pay subscribers in the German regions of North Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse in early June.

Announcement follows a deal with Unity Media, and SPTI expects other distribution agreements to follow in Germany in the months ahead.

Said Ross Hair, SPTI's senior vice president, international networks: "We have ambitious plans for the rollout of our Animax brand across Europe and today's announcement of our Germany launch marks the next stage of those plans.

"We believe there is significant potential for a dedicated anime channel in Germany and for the delivery of anime content cross-platform."

The channel is established in Asia and Latin America, airing in 36 million homes and transmitting in 11 languages, said Sony.

It also airs in Central Europe, with more than 4 million subscribers in Hungary, Romania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Date in print: Tue., May 15, 2007, Gotham

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