Digimon Fusion heads to Nickelodeon in the US, YTV broadcast in Canada pending?
Digimon Fusion has been confirmed for broadcast on Nickelodeon in the United States. This is a surprise for a variety of reasons, firstly, Nickelodeon proper rarely airs acquired programming, even less of that being anime (you’d have to go back to early 00s with Speed Racer X to find the last instance of proper Japan produced animation on the network if memory serves) and secondly, the franchise’s licensor, Saban Brands, owns the Vortexx block on The CW. Many thought the company would emulate nostalgia of the 90s by premiering new episodes of the series on their weekly Saturday morning network block, just as Saban Entertainment did with Digimon on FOX Kids back in the 90s/early 00s.
What does that mean for us Canadians? Well, actually a good thing. When Saban Brands re-acquired the Digimon franchise last year it marked a departure from the Disney clad broadcast ownership the franchise had previously seen, much akin to Power Rangers years earlier. Remember when the last few Disney produced Power Rangers shows aired in an ungodly early weekend time slot on Family Channel in Canada? The Digimon show prior to Fusion, Data Squad, produced by Toei US division, but had the broadcast rights snapped up by Disney also aired on Family in an ungodly early weekend time slot. With the launch of their first Power Rangers series, Saban returned the franchise to YTV, the network that briefly aired the original decades earlier before parental complaints eventually shut them down. Prior to Digimon Data Squad airing on Family Channel, YTV was the home for the franchise, broadcasting the three series that aired on FOX Kids, and the last one that aired on UPN. YTV even aired the 3-in-1 combination movie that FOX and Saban put together. Unfortunately though, the direct-to-TV dubs of later Digimon movies were never aired in Canada on either network. In the US they aired on Toon Disney (the precursor to Disney XD) so presumably it would have been up to Family Channel to air those films, but given the network’s treatment of Data Squad, and the fact those films were tied to Digimon series that only aired on YTV, I suppose it’s not exactly surprising.
Nothing is confirmed as of yet, but I think Digimon Fusion's destination in Canada is fairly obvious. There will probably be a Nickelodeon Canada broadcast ala the current Power Rangers arrangement. The show will likely slide into YTV's Saturday afternoons with the likes of Beyblade, Monsuno, Pokemon, Power Rangers, and Yu-Gi-Oh!.