Overcrowding is not expected in Hong Kong's television entertainment market despite the imminent influx of new pay-television channels, according to officials at AXN Action. What counts most in television entertainment is content, according to Todd Miller, managing director at AXN, an action and adventure network owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment of Japan. 'People want to be carried away,' Mr Miller said. 'They want excitement.' As a result, viewers were willing to pay for niche entertainment programmes, he said. Although five new pay-television operators are set to compete for the SAR's less than two million television households, AXN believes it will survive, as it is the region's only action and adventure-oriented network. 'Action and adventure is the most popular entertainment genre,' Mr Miller said. 'We are the only regional network that is focused on these areas.' AXN is a 24-hour cable and satellite television channel exclusively dedicated to action and adventure programming in Asia. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment, the parent company of Columbia TriStar, which has produced recent movies such as Hollow Man, The Patriot and Urban Legends: The Final Cut. AXN launched its 24-hour service in Hong Kong through the Cable TV network on August 9. Hong Kong's lowest pay-television penetration rate among Asian countries was a plus for operators due to the high growth potential, Mr Miller said. Hong Kong is AXN's last stop in its Asia coverage, allowing the broadcaster to reach 19 million television households across 18 Asia countries. Featuring adventure programming such as the Silverstone 4X4 Rally of Asia, action movies including Anaconda and The Replacement Killers and adventure-fantasy series made for television such as Relic Hunter, AXN hopes its mix of programmes will help boost pay-television subscriber numbers in the SAR and for Cable TV, as the genre is highly popular with viewers. After covering most of the Asian market, AXN plans to expand its content and marketing efforts to compete with other regional broadcasters such as United States sports network ESPN, movie network operator Home Box Office and News Corp's Star TV. In the past quarter, AXN said it had added three million subscribers through organic growth of subscriber base from its existing market coverage and the extension of its services into Hong Kong and India. Launched in September 1997, the company said it had achieved a better than expected pace of subscriber growth. The company is expected to break even by 2003, making it likely to be the fastest regional television channel to do so.