Cogeco pulls the plug on Anime Network

animenetworkondemandRemember the mid-00s? American Idol was the most popular show on television. Netflix had just launched a streaming service in the US. Blackberry, then Research in Motion, was a successful business. ADV was a thing. Remember them? They were once America’s largest anime distributor, even operating a linear television and cable video-on-demand service called Anime Network. But it’s not the mid-00s anymore. ADV became a hydra of companies like Sentai Filmworks, Seraphim Studios and Valkyrie Media. Anime Network’s linear channel was shutdown nearly a decade ago, but the brand still exists as a cable video-on-demand and internet streaming subscription service. To Canadians that receive cable through Montreal-based telecommunications provider Cogeco, the latter is the only way the service will continue to exist, as the company has announced that on March 1, 2017 the Anime Network video-on-demand service will come to an end:

On March 1, 2017, Anime Network On Demand will be shutting down operations and will no longer be available to any TV providers in Canada. Although this decision is out of Cogeco’s control, we apologize for any inconvenience. The Anime Network On Demand package will automatically be removed from every subscriber’s account.

That notice sounds like a much bigger story than a single carrier that covers Quebec and parts of Ontario, so why the headline? Well, Anime Network on Demand is also available on Rogers and Shaw cable systems in Canada and representatives from both companies claim to not be aware of a large scale shutdown. I’ve also spoken to an Anime Network representative who backs up this being an isolated closure exclusive to Cogeco. Though, I won’t be shocked if this becomes a canary in the coal mine situation.

Cogeco launched the service in November 2006. They were actually the most recent provider to offer service; Shaw began offering Anime Network on Demand back in December 2005, but Rogers, who introduced it in Canada way back in January 2004, has them both beat.

Anime Network shouldn’t be confused with Corus Entertainment’s aborted Anime Channel, or the company’s own Anime on Demand/Bionix on Demand offerings.

Thanks Greg.

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