Ananya Saha

Animax hopes to strike the right note this time

Three new shows aim to woo the audience back

Animax, the animation channel, which is in its second year of operation, has still not been able to make an impact on Indian television. But the channel has not lost hope. It’s trying to make a comeback with three new shows, ‘GameMax’, ‘JC, the Ninja Girl’ and ‘Ranma 1/2’.

‘GameMax’ is a weekly show on video games. Premiering on February 18 at 5 pm, the show will provide information on the Asian gaming industry and offer advice on how to become a top gamer and a professional gamer.

‘JC, the Ninja Girl’ is a humorous action-packed series, which premieres on February 19 at 6 pm. The drama series revolves around an eight-year-old girl who is the chosen warrior and thereby embroiled in adventure.

Based on the ‘Manga’ series, ‘Ranma 1/2’ is a comical series about a boy, who turns into a girl whenever he gets wet and transforms into his normal self when in warm water. The show begins on February 23 at 5.30 pm.

‘JC, the Ninja Girl’ and ‘Ranma 1/2’ seem to have been launched with female viewers in mind. Rohit Bhandari, director, sales and marketing, South Asia, Animax, retorts, “It’s high time we considered the segmentation and fragmentation in the viewer segments. The themes and the appeal will continue to be unisex, but because of the introduction of the cuter version with female leads, girls might like these programmes better.”

Bhandari adds, “We started out as an animation channel for all age groups. But we tend to cater primarily to young adults, with kids as the secondary audience on the channel.”

Soon after its launch, Animax introduced Japanese animation, but failed to connect with Indian viewers. Bhandari explains, “Japanese animation series like ‘Beyblade’ and ‘Pokemon’ have done extremely well on other channels, but they have not been lucky for Animax.”

Bhandari blames the timing of the launch of Animax as the reason for its initial failure. He says, “Our entering the Indian market at a time when media was highly competitive did not help us. We failed badly because of investment, promotion and distribution hassles.”

Bhandari is confident that all three have been given the utmost importance this time. “Our in-house marketing initiative to promote shows and reach the masses efficiently is going to be pretty strong this year.”

Bhandari is equally optimistic about the future of Animax. Though he prefers not to divulge details, he says, “The marketing, distribution and investment are going to be really aggressive from now on to produce more shows and promote them well.”

© 2006 agencyfaqs!

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