During its panel today held during Anime Expo, Viz Media took the wraps off of "Neon Alley," its forthcoming 24-hour online anime network, and provided even more details on how the service will work as well as confirming key partnerships with other companies.
To start with, the reason for the conception of "Neon Alley" was to fill in a gap in terms of programming, as there had been no broadcast outlet for uncut English dubbed anime, having previously needing at times heavy editing to make it suitable for airing, compared to the avenues available for uncut, subtitled content which are mostly found online.
In terms of pricing, the $6.99 subscription rate with limited advertising was deterrmined as the best way to deliver the content at the lowest price possible, as the channel aims to air more than just anime, with the goal to air everything from animated shorts, OVAs, music videos, behind the scenes, industry news, and live action within the scope of the channel's programming. To that end, Viz also confirmed its first partners in the service with live-action martial arts movie distributor Tai Seng and Aniplex making up its first third-party programming partnerships, while Anime News Network will be providing the foundation for its news content.
Related to the Aniplex confirmation, Viz confirmed that Blue Exorcist will be dubbed, but they also stated that airing on Neon Alley first would not mean that a cable channel would be left out of being able to broadcast any series that premieres first on the network, since this service is meant to supplement TV broadcasts and not replace them entirely, owing to their current partnership with Adult Swim/Toonami for Bleach and Kekkaishi, the reasoning given that one TV network can't pick everything up for broadcast.
As far as availability, at the start of the service, it will only be made available on game consoles with more specific announcements on platform partner being made later on. No confirmations were made on that point at today's panel, while the service itself will be limited to the US and Canada.