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AXN launches HD feed; announces new programming strategy

AXN HD to go live on April 6. AXN extends programming line-up to Fridays; reschedules shows.

AXN, one of the top players in the English general entertainment space, has plans of upping the ante with the launch of an HD feed and a new programming line-up and schedule.

AXN HD is set to launch on April 6.

Besides, the channel is ready to offer a variety of edgy, action and reality television shows from the best international studios such as CBS, Sony Pictures, BBC, WB, MGM, NBC Universal, Buena Vista International, Fremantle Media, Endemol and FOX.

AXN launches HD feed; announces new programming strategy
According to Saurabh Yagnik, EVP and business head, Sony Pix and AXN, the channel aims to appeal to both opinion leaders and adopters. Digitisation, Yagnik explains, has opened an interesting opportunity for the category. While the issues relating to distribution and availability have been addressed, the category has become more amenable to appointment-based viewing.

"The audience is seeking two kinds of content - shows which are iconic and familiar and those which are served fresh from the US. This will help curb piracy and downloading of shows," Yagnik states.

AXN launches HD feed; announces new programming strategy
AXN launches HD feed; announces new programming strategy
On April 6, the channel will bring to its viewers iconic shows like '24' at 10 PM and 'Dexter' at 11 PM, from Monday to Friday. The channel has extended its programming by a day, as opposed to the earlier Monday to Thursday telecast.

"AXN is also seeking to enhance its appeal with the launch of its HD feed. With this, we hope to make weeknights 'Thrill Nights' for our viewers exclusively on AXN and AXN HD," he says.

The channel, which today has a partnership with over 20 international studios and 2000 hours of content, has announced the new weekday and weekend programming line-up. On weekdays, shows like 'Guinness', 'Ripley's', 'American Ninja Warrior', 'Wipeout' will air at 8 PM. These will be followed by reality shows like 'Fear Factor', 'So You Think You Can Dance', 'Top Chef', 'America's Next Top Model', 'Survivor', and 'The Amazing Race ' at 9 PM.

The 10 PM slot has a host of famous crime shows like '24', 'Elementary', NCIS and CSI. Meanwhile the 11 PM slot will set the boundaries higher with "edgy" and "engrossing" shows like 'Dexter', 'Ray Donovan', 'Sex and the City' and 'Californication', aiming to make AXN a one stop destination for reality, crime and edgy programming content.

Adding to the kitty of "enthralling" entertainment, weekends will witness the latest seasons of shows with fresh content, airing closer to US dates. 'Sherlock S4', 'Supernatural S11', 'Orphan Black S3', 'Hannibal S3', 'Elementary S4', 'Voice S9 & S10', 'Madam Secretary S2', 'Extant S2', 'CSI: Cyber' and 'Scorpion S3' are some of the international TV series slated to air on the channel.

AXN, as a brand, has also successfully created disruption on social media. With more than 1.7 million Facebook fans, AXN has an Average Engagement Rate of 6 per cent approximately, which is the highest in the category.

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