The Anime Channel is dead

So, I was looking over CRTC broadcast decisions as some background for the Disney XD news post, and I noticed something that appears to have gone above everyone’s head. In the CRTC’s January 30, 2007 decision that approved the creation of Corus Entertainment’s The Anime Channel, there is this subsection in the “Issuance of the license” which states the following:

the applicant has informed the Commission in writing that it is prepared to commence operations. The undertaking must be operational at the earliest possible date and in any event no later than 36 months from the date of this decision, unless a request for an extension of time is approved by the Commission before 30 January 2010. In order to ensure that such a request is processed in a timely manner, it should be submitted at least 60 days before that date.

Corus has never shown an inclination towards launching the channel past the initial application, and as far as I know, never requested the CRTC to extend their setup period. Which, in turn means their broadcast license should be void. Which means The Anime Channel was stillborn.

Coincidentally, or not, this was around the same time period in which Corus Entertainment’s main children’s channel, YTV removed Naruto, and Bleach – the only two remaining older youth targeted anime series on the channel – from the broadcast schedule entirely.

While I was always conflicted about the possibilities of an anime channel. I always felt the channel would target a niche, and only attract the niche. However, it being stillborn, with Corus not even attempting to keep the license shows the state of Japanese animation in this country.

Where do we go from here?

YTV has become a channel that tries to serve its CRTC guidelines as a youth’s broadcaster (though it’s supposed to serve children up to 17 – Ask a seventeen year old if anything on YTV is aimed at them – you can even ask me) but it is now a family oriented channel. While that has worked for ratings, and creating a cohesive channel lineup to sell to advertisers (it’s easier to get Pampers to buy 5 commercial spots a day when the entire lineup can have parents watching) it has obviously created a large backlash within the anime community as to get family friendly, YTV had to remove any non-family friendly programming. Teenage aimed animation was one of the things to get the axe.

It’s the power of the dollar vs. ratings. Naruto could’ve been pulling in huge ratings at 9PM on Friday nights, but the channel would still cancel it because advertisers don’t care. I distinctly remember diaper commercials, and car commercials being aired in Bionix. Those are two things that the target audience of teenagers, and young adults probably wouldn’t be able to buy. It’s not relevant to them. So I can imagine advertising rates during those hours weren’t exactly expensive. Though, that is a failure on Corus Entertainment’s part. Cartoon Network treats its older youth, and young adult block, [adult swim] as a separate network entirely to advertisers so that you don’t see the likes of baby diapers being advertised in this hour.

As for Teletoon, frankly, after the events of the 90s, the channel has very much been anime anorexic, dropping most of its anime programming, and frankly has such a large commitment of programming from Nicktoons, Cartoon Network, The Hub, and original productions to air any anime. They simply don’t have the time to air it. As for Family, well most of us know that the channel’s history is 6AM/7AM broadcasts without advertisements. Clearly a sign of confidence for the future.

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  1. I don’t think that the fact that The Anime Channel never came to fruition is entirely a reflection of the state of anime in Canada. I think part of the reason it was not launched is that it would have been risky and expensive to launch a brand new television station during a recession.

    I suspect that, given some more time, YTV may consider going ahead with The Anime Channel in future (after another application process, of course). But right now, there are not a lot of licensers handling anime for North America, and the industry isn’t as strong as it used to be. After companies have more time to recover from the recession, and there is a wider variety of titles to choose from various sources — maybe the idea could be revisited, or even modified to be more of a “teens and up” type of channel that airs a good chunk of anime.

    It’s disappointing that it wasn’t able to happen before the license expired, but who knows what may happen in the future?

      • Domayv
      • September 6th, 2011

      How about if Corus Entertainment (the company that would launch The Anime Channel) makes a joint venture with Sony Pictures Entertainment to launch Animax Canada, using the “The Anime Channel” license. You know, launch Animax Canada the same way how Corus Entertainment launched Nickelodeon Canada.

    • Mohji
    • March 31st, 2011

    It’s been coming for a while. I’m not really surprised that YTV hasn’t done anything about it, especially since they’ve pretty much given up on anime at this point.

    • jlaking
    • April 1st, 2011

    With TAC (which it was never going to be named that since CPM trademarked that name) dead, this gives the FUNimation Channel a better chance in Canada.

    At their Anime North panel last year, FUNimation marketing director Lance Heiskell said that FUNi working on expanding the availability of the FUNimation Channel into Canada.

    http://moon-chase.blogspot.com/2010/06/anime-north-2010-funimation-industry.html

    • Stéphane Dumas
    • April 7th, 2011

    Sigh….meanwhile, in the afternoons, YTV puts more and more Spongebob… I remember the early days of YTV when they aired reruns of Rocky & Bullwinkle, Get Smart, You Can’t Do That on Television. Then they aired Samurai Pizza Cats, Sailor Moon, Reboot, Are you afraid of the Dark?…

    Anyone who remember then YTV even broadcasted the old Doctor Who series? I spotted this old promo from 1989 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N96kR1tyu0g

    • DJ Tigertron
    • June 5th, 2011

    apparently, YTV is planning to bring Bionix back as a summertime block in July of this year and air Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, and Dragon Ball GT on it. my hopes are they’ll also air Inuyasha and Sailor Moon. maybe if we’re really lucky we’ll get Gundam Wing back. i can’t remeber whether or not they finished that series, i was 6 at the time it was airing, but i loved it nonetheless. i sure hope this isn’t just a rumor, otherwise i’ll be severly heartbroken :(

      • Katie
      • June 29th, 2012

      Same here I was about 7 when all those shows were on and now that there is hardly any anime shows beside pokemon. I and many other people would love to have our dear bionix back. Please ytv please bring bionix back!

  2. You can watch free BLEACH episodes on Hulu. Your Welcome and God Bless.

  1. May 23rd, 2011
  2. November 11th, 2011

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