The Pokemon Company and Reliance, India’s entertainment division, have reached an agreement for The Pokemon Company to air children’s programs and films on Reliance’s platform. This is Reliance’s latest attempt to expand its content portfolio in the face of domestic competition from Walt Disney Co. and other streaming services.
According to one of the sources, the agreement, which was signed this month, will make JioCinema‘s streaming app the “exclusive” India platform partner for over 1,000 episodes and around 20 films of the Japanese anime series. No financial information was disclosed.
The insider said that in order to increase their appeal, the television series and films will be dubbed into three Indian languages. Pokemon has given rise to a multi-billion dollar global media empire that includes video games, trading cards, TV series, and motion pictures.
A request for comment was not answered by The Pokemon developer, which is owned by video game developer Nintendo and affiliates, or Viacom18, the joint venture of Indian tycoon Mukesh Ambani that operates JioCinema.
Ambani’s most recent attempt to grow in the Indian streaming market—which research firm Media Partners Asia projects will be valued at $7 billion by 2027—includes the addition of kid-focused content.
JioCinema’s competitors include Netflix and Amazon, but Ambani has most recently challenged Disney’s Hotstar app, which both provide free streaming of cricket matches.
According to the sources, JioCinema would add over 3,000 hours of kid-friendly programming, including films and television series from DreamWorks, Animaccord, Entertainment One, and Cartoon Network Studios.
According to them, those additions will be made possible by Viacom18’s current content agreements or by connection with its now-closed Voot Kids streaming program. According to one of the insiders, the new JioCinema agreement is a “much larger partnership” than the Pokemon content that was previously available on Voot.
NBCUniversal informed Reuters that JioCinema and the company had established a multi-year collaboration in May that included “kids and family programming,” which included DreamWorks property. Requests for response from Cartoon Network Studios, Animaccord, and Entertainment One were not answered.
Hit shows “Succession” and “Game of Thrones” are among the Hollywood and foreign programming that Viacom18 will be adding to JioCinema as part of an agreement with Warner Bros Discovery Inc. that was signed in April.