Cinedigm (NASDAQ: CIDM) announced that the leading free streaming television service, Pluto TV, has secured exclusive rights in multiple territories to Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS, the sixth anime series in the fan-favorite global franchise based on the Yu-Gi-Oh! collectible trading card game. In a nod to the shifting streaming landscape, Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS will bypass broadcast and other windows in the U.S., Latin America, and beyond to make its debut on Pluto TV. The deal is part of a larger initiative to launch an exclusive Yu-Gi-Oh! branded channel on Pluto TV, which the service will bring to the U.S. later this month with LATAM to follow.
A long-running success on television around the world, the Yu-Gi-Oh! series have aired in more than 90 countries over the past two decades with recent successes on digital platforms like Apple and Amazon Prime Video, in addition to Pluto TV. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS will be the first series in the franchise’s history to skip both U.S. broadcast and the traditional digital release windows, a move that Cinedigm’s Yolanda Macias, EVP Acquisitions and Digital Sales, said “reflects the company’s ability to pivot easily with marketplace changes and disruptions to meet viewers’ needs.”
In Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS, a duelist named Playmaker must team up with a trash-talking AI to thwart a nefarious group of hackers bent on destroying the cyber world. Ranked 6th in Best 100 TV Anime at the 2019 Tokyo Anime Award Festival, the series merges virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and high-speed dueling into a fighting extravaganza. Pluto TV’s dubs will feature all original music and effects scored for the Western market.
Upon its launch, Pluto TV’s Yu-Gi-Oh! channel will feature over 650 episodes across five series, including Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS, Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters. The international scope of the deal will allow for content to be released in multiple language dubs, facilitating wider viewership around the world.
“We are pleased to partner with Pluto TV to release Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS and the dedicated Yu-Gi-Oh! channel that will enable fans to enjoy many of the Yu-Gi-Oh! series,” said Mark Kirk, Senior Vice President of Digital Operations at Konami Cross Media NY, Inc.
“Yu-Gi-Oh!’s fandom is one of the most loyal and passionate in the world, and to be able to bring Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS to Pluto TV is both an incredible honor for us and a boon for viewers around the world, who can now stream this series for free,” said Amy Kuessner, Senior Vice President of Content Strategy & Global Partnerships at Pluto TV. “We are excited to bring this single channel dedicated solely to Yu-Gi-Oh! and making it easier than ever for longtime and new fans alike to access this world.”
A true global phenomenon and perennial fan favorite, the Yu-Gi-Oh! Anime brand ranks among the top 25 highest-grossing media franchises of all time. Celebrating over 20 years and amassing a fervent following, the Brand continues to flourish with each new series and expansion. To date, fans have engaged by reading the Manga, watching more than 900 Yu-Gi-Oh! Anime episodes, and downloading the Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links mobile game over 100 million times. Fans have also supported the brand at the box office and played with and purchased over 25.1 billion units of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME – a Guinness World Record! The future is bright for this Anime franchise with a robust slate of new content, games and merchandise planned for release in 2020 and beyond, continuing to engage and entertain audiences globally.
ABOUT PLUTO TV
Pluto TV, a ViacomCBS Company, is the leading free streaming television service, delivering hundreds of live and original channels and thousands of on-demand movies in partnership with major TV networks, movie studios, publishers, and digital media companies. Named by Fast Company as one of 2020’s Most Innovative Companies, Pluto TV has a global audience of over 33 million monthly active users, with 26.5 million in the U.S. and an international footprint that spans three continents and 22 countries throughout the US, Europe and Latin America. Pluto TV is available on all mobile, web and connected TV streaming devices where millions tune in each month to watch premium news, TV shows, movies, sports, lifestyle, and trending digital series. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Pluto TV has offices across the United States, Europe and Latin America.
For more than twenty years, Cinedigm (NASDAQ: CIDM) has led the digital transformation of the entertainment industry. Today, Cinedigm entertains hundreds of millions of consumers around the globe by providing premium content, streaming channels and technology services to the world’s largest media, technology and retail companies. For more information, visit http://www.cinedigm.com/.
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