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Reliance JioCinema Secures Exclusive Deal with Pokemon for Extensive Children’s Content Offering in India

Reliance JioCinema, the entertainment division of India’s Reliance, has entered into an agreement with The Pokemon Company to feature children’s shows and movies on its platform, sources familiar with the deal revealed. This move is part of Reliance’s strategy to enhance its content library in the face of increasing competition from streaming rivals like Walt Disney Co in the domestic market.

The recently signed deal designates JioCinema’s streaming app as the “exclusive” India platform partner for over 1,000 episodes and approximately 20 movies from the popular Japanese anime series Pokemon. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed. To broaden the appeal of the content, the shows and movies will be dubbed into three Indian languages.

Pokemon, a global multimedia franchise with a substantial market presence in trading cards, games, TV shows, and movies, is partnering with Viacom18, the entertainment joint-venture of Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani that operates JioCinema. Despite requests for comments, Viacom18 and The Pokemon Company, owned by Nintendo and its affiliates, did not respond.

This collaboration is part of Ambani’s broader effort to expand Reliance’s presence in the Indian streaming market, which is projected to reach a value of $7 billion by 2027 according to research firm Media Partners Asia. While JioCinema competes with streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon, its recent focus has been on challenging Disney’s Hotstar app, particularly by offering free streaming of cricket matches.

As part of this content expansion, JioCinema is set to introduce approximately 3,000 hours of children’s content, including productions from Entertainment One, Animaccord, Cartoon Network Studios, and DreamWorks. These additions will be facilitated through Viacom18’s existing content agreements or integration with its other streaming platform, Voot Kids, which has been discontinued. Notably, although some Pokemon content was previously available on Voot, the new partnership with JioCinema represents a more extensive collaboration.

In May, JioCinema announced a multi-year partnership with NBCUniversal, which confirmed that “kids and family programming,” including content from DreamWorks, was part of the agreement. Entertainment One, Animaccord, and Cartoon Network Studios did not respond to requests for comments. Additionally, in April, Viacom18 secured a deal with Warner Bros Discovery Inc. to bring more Hollywood and international content, such as popular series “Succession” and “Game of Thrones,” to JioCinema.

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