Cinedigm 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.
Yu-Gi-Oh! series have aired in more than 90 countries over the past two decades with series appearing on Apple, Amazon Prime Video, Pluto TV, and more. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS will be the first series in the franchise’s history to skip US broadcast TV and the traditional digital release window. The choice to go straight to streaming “reflects the company’s ability to pivot easily with marketplace changes and disruptions to meet viewers’ needs,” said Yolanda Macias, EVP Acquisitions and Digital Sales, Cinedigm (NASDAQ: CIDM).
“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.”
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.