Konami’s 4K Media has scored its major programming deal for the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime brand since securing the rights outside of Asia last year.
US children’s channel Nicktoons has bought two seasons of the latest installment, Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, along with the entire Yu-Gi-Oh! library, which includes Classic Yu-Gi-Oh!, Yu-Gi-Oh! GX and Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds.
A 4K Media spokesman confirmed to TBI the deal was the first broadcast agreement since it took on its current moniker in October, with others pending.
4K Media is a New York-based subsidiary of Konami Digital Entertainment, which itself is part of video games giant Konami. 4K was initially launched last summer as 4K Acquisition Corp, an investment vehicle that secured rights outside Asia to the brand from the now-defunct 4Kids Entertainment. Saban Brand secured 4Kids’ Saturday morning programming block on The CW and rebranded it as Vortexx.
4K Media is headed up by former 4Kids exec Kristen Gray, who is senior VP, and Peter Bloom, senior VP, finance. Brian Lacey, who initially brought the brand to the US and was with 4Kids until September last year, is a broadcast sales consultant through his Lacey Entertainment imprint.
Japanese toon company Toei Animation created Yu-Gi-Oh! in 1998 and Nihon Ad Systems created another version six years later. The franchise has since broadcast in numerous territories internationally.
Nick’s channels have broadcast Yu-Gi-Oh! internationally on nets in Australia and Latin America, among others.