After establishing a strong presence in the streaming sports segment, Viacom18 is now making a determined foray into the realm of children’s entertainment. The company has secured a deal to bring Pokemon’s shows and movies to Jio Cinema, marking the commencement of the ‘Pokemania Festival’.

This collaboration entails the streaming of over 1,000 episodes and 21 movies from the popular Japanese anime series, with a promise of unveiling a new season every Thursday.

Pokemon, owned by Nintendo, is an expansive media franchise catering to children, and encompasses video games, animated series, films, and a trading card game. While the financial details of this partnership remain undisclosed, it positions the entertainment and media arm of Reliance Industries to compete with industry giants such as Disney Kids and Netflix in the children’s entertainment segment across online streaming platforms and television.

This strategic move comes amid reports of Reliance Industries being in discussions with Walt Disney & Co for the potential acquisition of its India business, which includes the OTT platform Disney+ Hotstar and a film studio.

Key focus area

Children’s entertainment represents the third key focus area for RIL, after general entertainment and sports. A recent report by PwC projects significant growth in the Indian OTT market, estimating a revenue surge to $3.5 billion by 2027, with an annual growth rate of 14.3 per cent, outpacing the global rate of 8.4 per cent.

In addition to the Pokemon partnership, Viacom18 has extended collaborations with both local and global studios such as Cartoon Network Studios, Dreamworks, EOne, and Animaccord. This move enables Viacom18 to offer over 3000 hours of diverse content in the kids’ entertainment genre.

The company has announced the creation of a dedicated ‘Kids and Family’ hub featuring a collection of over 100 top-tier toon franchises, more than 300 movies and series, and games. This content will be accessible in English as well as over five Indian languages.