New Yu-Gi-Oh! Episodes Subject to 60-Day Streaming Delay under Konami Management

June 25, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Posted in 4Kids, Konami, Saban, Yu-Gi-Oh!, ZEXAL | 8 Comments
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Seto Kaiba being dealt the finishing blow by Yugi's Exodia in episode 1

If you’re used to waking up on Saturday mornings and catching Yu-Gi-Oh! on The CW, don’t worry, nothing’s going to change as a result of 4Kids’ upcoming transaction with Konami and Saban. From the point Konami and Saban assume control of their respective new businesses until the Fall season begins in September, Saban will broadcast two episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal and two episodes of classic Yu-Gi-Oh! every Saturday morning, just as 4Kids has been doing. Then, once the Fall season commences, Saban will continue to air two episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal while only broadcasting one episode from an older Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series.

As of the end of May 2012, 4Kids has purchased the first 41 episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal, so expect 4Kids, Konami, and Saban to already be preparing these for the Fall season. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Yu-Gi-Oh! will continue to air on The CW at least through the Summer 2016 season.

The management of the Yu-Gi-Oh! property under Konami and Saban is not all happy news, however. As part of its deal with Saban, Konami will be imposing an exclusivity period on all new Yu-Gi-Oh! episodes, during which an episode will not be allowed to be exhibited on any platform for 60 days after it initially airs on The CW. That’s right, on any platform. Konami explicitly cites streaming on Hulu and Netflix as verboten during this period.

It is not immediately clear whether Konami’s exclusivity period extends to the new Japanese Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal episodes that are the counterparts of the new English-dubbed episodes that will air on The CW. Japanese episodes are not broadcast on The CW, so are they not subject to the restriction? This is assuming, of course, that Konami will even continue streaming subbed Japanese episodes as 4Kids has been doing.

Nevertheless, all of this does mean that Konami intends to seek approval from the Japanese Yu-Gi-Oh! licensors to continue streaming the Yu-Gi-Oh! episodes. If given the okay, the episodes will appear on The CW’s and/or Saban’s websites. Episodes will not be available on download-to-own and subscription video-on-demand services.

Part of the streaming deal requires that the licensors allow Saban to stream footage from the Yu-Gi-Oh! series as part of short promo videos to advertise the streams. In the event that Saban is not granted these rights, streaming Yu-Gi-Oh! episodes will not be available anywhere.

…And you thought a 60-day delay was bad! Let’s hope Konami and Saban pull through and keep Yu-Gi-Oh! episodes on the web!

8 Comments »

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  1. LOL

  2. No, not “LOL.” Not at all. We are in a digital age where any and all programming are streaming online and consumers seek immediate gratification. I could understand it if Konami wanted to keep new episodes off free platforms like Hulu for two months, but for the restriction to apply even to premium services like Hulu Plus and Netflix is idiocy. How does Konami plan on combating online piracy while moving in this direction? It is my fervent plea that Konami rethink the exclusivity period, at least with regards to streaming episodes.

  3. They’re not going to take down the current Yu-gi-oh episodes off of hulu, right? Not the new episodes like Zexal, but the original series?

  4. I have no idea. I hope not. There haven’t been any updates from Konami so far.

  5. All i’m wondering is when the heck can see in the USA Yu-Gi-Oh Bonds Beyond Time DVD?

  6. At this point, no one knows. If you want to see the English-dubbed movie, I recommend just importing it from the UK.

  7. So 4 Weeks Passed since the New Episodes started airing, i wonder if we can expect episodes in Late September/Early October?

  8. You’re close, but four weeks haven’t passed yet. Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal episode 25 aired on August 18, so the absolute earliest we could see it online (if at all) is October 17.


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