According to YTV’s website, Canadians will no longer have episodes – new or old – of Naruto and Bleach to look forward to on cable TV. Both anime series have been removed not only from the channel’s daily schedule but also entirely from their show database. (Source: AnimeNewsNetwork)
Their website section AnimeMaster, where information and blog-style posts were shared from their resident of the same name has also been removed. Both these changes came without advance warning from the station.
YTV has seen a distinct drop in the amount of animated shows it plays in recent years, in favour of playing a line-up of predomiantly live-action comedies and dramas aimed at a younger teen audience. Anime on the station has been in decline for some time and its shaky future on the channel had the final nail in the coffin for most fans when their evening Bionix line-up was moved from its primetime slot on Friday to Saturday mid 2009.
YTV’s OnDemand service, a special feature available on digital cable stations, has also removed episodes of Naruto and Pokemon while limiting the available episodes of Nickelodeon’s Avatar the Last Airbender.
Canadian television in general is a far cry for anime from what it was only five years ago when there were over 15 different anime series playing on television at a time. This included the beginning of YTV’s Bionix line-up which at the time played weekly episodes of many newly English broadcasting series including Inu-Yasha, Naruto, Fullmetal Alchemist, Witch Hunter Robin, Gundam Seed and Bleach. At one point the station was even in talks over an anime-only channel, which though approved at the time, was never launched.
Anime currently still playing on YTV is Dinosaur King, Pokemon and the more recently added Pretty Cure. Teletoon, another Canadian station, currently plays episodes of Bakugan and Domo-kun and Friends. Some digital cable users in Canada also have access to the subscription-based AnimeNetwork service which allows subscribers to watch weekly updated lists of anime series at their leisure.