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Thank You for Taking Over Pokemon: The Animated Series, Disney XD December 7, 2016

Posted by Maniac in Editorials.
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The views expressed in the following editorial is protected under the First Amendment.

For those of you who haven’t heard, the US rights to broadcast Pokémon: The Animated Series have shifted from the basic cable channel Cartoon Network to the digital cable channel Disney X D as of Monday.  This is hardly an unprecidented move, as Cartoon Network wasn’t even the first channel to have the US rights to animated Pokémon either, that honor goes to the now-defunct WB Network and their KidsWB programming block.  Since Disney X D started broadcasting the newest animated Pokémon content, they have already proven themselves to be better stewards of Pokémon animated content than Cartoon Network has been in the last three years.  I know what you’re thinking, “How can I comfortably say that after just a few days?”  Well I do have some very good reasons why I can say that, so keep reading to find out what they are.

I have to admit I really like the Disney X D Network. I am a fan of a few of their original shows, and I greatly enjoyed their coverage of the 2015 Nintendo World Championships last year. To me, Pokémon seems like a perfect fit for the Disney X D network, and because of that I had a lot of optimism going into the transition. However, the reason I believe Disney X D is a better home for Pokémon is simply this, Disney X D knows how to organize their programming schedule better than Cartoon Network ever did!

I know that harsh statement is going to require specifics before some people will accept it so I’ll produce my evidence right here. First, take a look at Cartoon Network’s current programming schedule. It doesn’t matter what day you look at, but let’s not count anything between 10PM-6AM because that’s considered Adult Swim’s time. The odds are you’ll be finding regular marathons for the show Teen Titans GO, and not much else. I actually liked Teen Titans GO when it first started to air, but even I have to admit that the show has just gotten stale, and the fact that it’s almost always on doesn’t help.  Heck, most fans of the original Teen Titans show don’t even like GO.  With that show dominating their entire schedule, and the entire nighttime broadcast hours dedicated to Adult Swim content, there isn’t much room on the schedule for Pokémon. In fact, Cartoon Network’s dedicated programming slot for Pokémon had been relegated to 7AM, a time that was far too early for younger fans to be able to watch, and far too late for their older fans to enjoy before they’ll have to go to school or work.

So that’s how they would schedule the TV show, but what about brand-new animated Pokémon feature films?  Cartoon Network would usually broadcast new Pokémon movies mid-day on a Saturday.  The film would be broadcast exactly once and never be reaired until around a year later when it would get scheduled in the time slot just before the next new film premiered.

So how did Disney X D schedule their first Pokémon programming?  They started strong by broadcasting an all-new feature film, Volcanion and the Mythical Marvel and following it up with two all-new episodes of the new series, Pokémon Sun and Moon.  The movie and the new series were broadcast starting at around 5PM on Monday, a perfect time. Younger fans would be home from school, and adults would just be getting home from work by that time.  Back in the day, KidsWB saw fit to broadcast new Pokémon episodes in their after-school programming block, and if they hadn’t picked that timeslot I may never have grown up to become a Pokémon Trainer.

However, picking a great time slot for a major broadcast isn’t the only great thing Disney X D did,  they also added the film to their Video On-Demand (VOD) service and rebroadcasted the event a day after it premiered!  Cartoon Network never replayed a new Pokémon film so recently after it first premiered, nor did they ever add them to their VOD service. If you didn’t have a DVR, and you couldn’t watch the film during its initial broadcast, you would not have a guaranteed chance of seeing it again on the Cartoon Network channel.  What a shame.

So I hope I made it clear to whoever is reading this that while Cartoon Network had the rights to Pokémon, despite the property’s recent resurgence of popularity they barely did anything with it.  Disney X D meanwhile has already proven themselves willing to throw their weight behind this beloved property.  Farewell Cartoon Network, Pokémon will be happier elsewhere.

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