Date: 2008 September 06 21:08
Posted by Joe
UK readers with satellite TV may not have noticed the disappearance of UK based anime channel Anime Central from channel 199. For the last few months at least all the channel broadcast was Ghost In the Shell:SAC and Cowboy Bebop in a constant loop, although they are both excellent shows, they're not really something a TV station can exist on alone.
The Otaku News Crew have been trying to figure out what happened to Anime Central for a while, we covered Anime Central's launch at AmeCon 2007, but once they reduced their anime screenings to only 2 shows we tried to get in touch with them. We had their office phone number and the contact names, but just got told that he wasn't at his desk, or couldn't come to the phone, we never could get in touch with anyone despite trying. We never published anything because we're not a rumour site, we like dealing in solid facts, references we can cite and report on. It became apparent at AmeCon 2008, that the reason we couldn't get in touch with anyone at Anime Central was that the brand manager had resigned from the stations parent company. We assume he knew the station was doomed.
From what we can understand Anime Central failed because it couldn't raise advertising revenue. Advertisers were unsure what kind of demographic would watch an anime station, and also if the viewers would be interested in their product. We know getting solid viewing figures for TV shows on satellite can be expensive, especially when you want them independently verified, and advertisers like to know these sort of things. We don't know if Anime Central paid to research the viewing figures or if they did what sort of viewing figures they got. We do however suspect advertisers hesitation to throw their money at a new TV station pitching to unfamiliar demographic could be a key factor.
As of the 7th of September 2008, channel 199 now shows OHTV (Open Heavens TV). The Anime Central Website is still up, and it still mentions channel 199 as it's station, although it's unclear how long the website has been neglected by it's webmaster(s), the forum is still active.
Cowboy Bebop and Ghost in the Shell:SAC can still be seen on Showcase (channel 188) on late nights.
It was fun while it lasted, but Anime Central broadcasted for less than a year.