AXN lines up white hot action

By , agencyfaqs! | In | November 18, 2004
AXN Extreme, The 4400 and The Contender are a few new shows in the pipeline

2005 is well over a month away, but executives at AXN, the action-adventure channel from Sony Pictures Entertainment, have begun work on their content strategy for the coming year in right earnest.

The focus, according to Rohit Bhandari, assistant vice-president, marketing and sales, Sony Entertainment Television, (he is in charge of AXN's business interests in India), will be on "reality, series and lifestyle" with the channel looking to pump in all its energy to get superlative programming from within these areas.

"The point is, there has to be a sustained viewership," he says. For AXN, keeping the tempo going is critical, given the competition in the English entertainment space.

After those heady days as the leader in the English entertainment space in the months of April and May, AXN has now slipped to the third position, trailing behind movie channels HBO and STAR Movies.

Average rating points currently delivered by the channel in the 8-12 pm band are about 0.1 to 0.25, which, when compared to the figures in the month of May, are much lower. Back then, the channel had registered an unprecedented growth of 260 per cent during prime time.

Despite having slipped a couple of notches down the ratings chart, the channel is showing no signs of letting up. On the cards is a new reality show called The Contender along with AXN's local production called AXN Extreme, which are scheduled to be launched in January next year.

The Contender has been produced by Mark Burnett, who has reality shows such as Survivor and The Apprentice (currently playing on STAR World) to his credit. The biggest draw in The Contender is Hollywood hunk Sylvester Stallone and boxer Sugar Ray Leonard, who will be featured in the show.

The third big property to premiere on the channel will be Francis Ford Coppola's The 4400, which will go on air by February-March next year. Plans are to have a special slot for the show, which will be billed as the AXN Platinum Showcase.

Even as the channel gets set for the New Year, it is looking to wind up the current year with some interesting specials. The channel has tied up with the Hong Kong Tourism Board to present the Hong Kong Bollywood Movie Odyssey, a half-hour programme that will be telecast on November 27 at 10.30 pm. Anchored by former Miss World Diana Hayden, the special takes viewers on a trip to various Hong Kong locations that have featured prominently in Bollywood movies.

© 2004 agencyfaqs!

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© 2004 agencyfaqs!