AXN will soon be history in India. Sony Pictures Networks India is bringing an end to the TV channel’s 21-year run, effective 12am on June 30. This applies to both the standard-definition (SD) and high-definition (HD) feeds of AXN across the subcontinent, which includes India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan.
In a statement to Gadgets 360, Sony Pictures Networks said: “In keeping with our growth strategy, we are realigning our channel portfolio. Accordingly, we have decided to discontinue AXN and AXN HD. This decision comes into effect on June 30, 2020.”
DreamDTH was the first to bring word of AXN and AXN HD’s closure.
AXN’s exit halves Sony’s presence in the English entertainment space in India, with Sony Pix left as the lone torchbearer. Moreover, Sony Pix only deals in (Hollywood) movies. Sure, there’s Sony BBC Earth too, but that’s only concerned with natural history documentaries.
It’s worth noting that AXN was regularly among the top three channels among English entertainment, as DreamDTH points out. Its closure doesn’t paint a bright future for channels that focus on English-language content in India.
Trade reports say that the growth of streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ Hotstar, and TRAI’s new tariff rules from last December are making it tougher for networks to succeed with English entertainment.
On the other hand, regional-language entertainment is faring better on TV in India. This might have something to do with the fact that those looking for English entertainment are generally in a better position — digital payment options and fast, reliable Internet — to access streaming services.
AXN is hardly the first Sony India channel to call it quits in 2020. At the end of March, it cut the cord on the sport-driven Sony ESPN and Hindi-language music-oriented Sony Mix.
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