Last night when I got home from work, I got an e-mail from Verizon. It stated that due to lower viewership that they were going to drop Funimation Channel.
This doesn’t surprise me.
I am saddened by it, but again, not surprised in the least. Anime has always been a niche product and industry. I spoke to a friend of mine about it, she was quite upset. Her response, “Keep the channel, make people watch it!” I told her that you can’t force someone to watch a channel that does not have their interests.
I for one, watch Funimation Channel on occasion. I have it on as background noise when I’m working. But I have caught episodes of School Rumble, Ouran Host, and Full Metal Panic that have piqued my interests.
I feel that there’s so much more room for improvement for Funimation Channel. This is what I suggest:
Make Funimation Channel a premium station. I would pay $6.99/month to watch uncut anime.
Add subtitled anime. Not everyone likes dubbed anime. This would cater to both sides.
Expand the library. I know that Funimation Channel is for their titles, but it would be good to air anime released by Bandai, Viz, Manga Entertainment, Section 23, etc…
Add newer content. All the new titles are on-demand, internet streaming. Maybe if they would air new stuff about two weeks after the internet stream, more people would want to watch.
I am reminded of how G4 bought TechTV just so that they could expand their coverage to DirecTV. It then went to G4Tech TV and then to just G4. And after a few years, they dropped G4 due to low coverage.
I think after reading about this, I think that as anime fans, we should be grateful and more thankful for what we have. I remember hearing for years that there should be a 24 hour anime channel. And we have one. But with advent of on-demand and internet streaming of readily available titles, it just didn’t work out too well. Maybe in the future, Verizon will bring back the Funimation Channel, but I’m not really holding my breath about it.