Encore Media Group announced today that they will be launching an anime programming block on their Action premium channel, which is usually devoted to live action movies. Encore has been working with ADV Films and Urban Vision to air several OAV and TV releases (dubbed in English) on the channel starting in April.
In a joint press release between Encore Media Group's Vice President of Program Planning and Scheduling David Salinger and Director of Program Aquisitions Nancy Silverstone, the group announced the plan to introduce anime on Saturday nights at midnight, as well as the deal with Urban Vision and ADV Films to air ten individual anime in the time slot, which will begin April 3.
"Anime is definitely poised to explode in the states," said Silverstone. "A few years ago it was the exclusive domain of a small group of hard-core fans. Now Hollywood is realizing its growing popularity and the need to give its fans more product."
"This innovative programming is good news for Anime's loyal following because it now has a regular weekly home," added Salinger. "Moreover, the addition of this series will broaden the genre's audience."
The rights gained by EMG for television distribution include those to ADV's new release of Tekken: The Motion Picture, Battle Angel, Blood Reign: Curse of the Undead Yoma, Gunsmith Cats, Sol Bianca, and the entire TV series Blue Seed. From Urban Vision comes BioHunter, Psycho Diver: Soul Siren, Twilight of the Dark Master, and Tekkaman Blade II.
Encore Media Group LLC provides premium (extra pay) cable and satelite channels to many large cable carriers, and currently boasts a combined viewership of 44 million monthly, spread through 11 channels.
ANN thanks "His Lordship Mayhem," who contributed to this report.