Pokémon is heading to the BBC for the first time.
The British broadcaster has acquired two complete story arcs from the Pokémon the Series collection to be housed on the BBC iPlayer, along with the story arcs’ accompanying feature-length Pokémon the Movie for both linear broadcast and the iPlayer.
This will mark the first time that Pokémon has been broadcast on the BBC platform. From this August, BBC iPlayer viewers will be able to watch the adventures of Ash and Pikachu, with all 189 episodes of Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl, and all 142 episodes of Pokémon the Series: Black & White.
Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl will be exclusively available to UK audiences on BBC iPlayer from August 2, while Pokémon the Series: Black & White will follow this autumn on a non-exclusive basis. The deal lands in time to help fans continue to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Pokémon brand this year, marking a quarter of a century since it was first launched in Japan in 1996 with two Game Boy titles.
Pokémon is one of the world’s most popular and successful entertainment properties. Its anime began in 1997 and now spans 24 series, with over 1000 episodes, and accompanying movies, which have aired in 176 different countries and regions in over 30 languages.
Emily Arons, SVP of licensing at The Pokémon Company International, said: “We are delighted to team up with such a world-renowned broadcaster as the BBC to bring the exciting adventures of Ash, Pikachu, and their friends to their huge UK audience.
“In our 25th anniversary year, it gives Pokémon fans old and new even more to celebrate with this wonderful opportunity to revisit or discover the wonderful world of Pokémon in these thrilling animated series. In addition, the Diamond and Pearl episodes will provide a great introduction to the fascinating Sinnoh region.”