Netflix has acquired US streaming rights to the children’s program, Thomas & Friends. As reported by Kidscreen, the extent of this will have Netflix holding the rights to seasons 23 and 24, which is launching later this year.
The deal will also allow the streaming giant to have a library of episodes in a wide range of locations including Asia (Hong Kong, Vietnam, India, Singapore, and Indonesia) Canada, Latin America, Europe (Switzerland, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, and Germany), and the UK will also have episodes on Netflix. The available episodes, though, will vary.
The current season will, however, continue to air on local broadcasters in a non-exclusive way.
The series created by Mattel launched in 1989 on PBS as a part of its Shining Time Station. It grew popular enough, though, that potential was seen and a full series consisting of 22-minute episodes began syndication. Thomas & Friends succeeded and has since amassed a huge library of episodes across its 23 seasons with season 24 coming this September. It moved channels from PBS to Nick Jr. two years ago.
This reveal comes at a good time for Netflix as they have been making efforts to ramp up its kid-related content as streaming services – particularly Disney+ – caused subscribers to reconsider its $8.99 a month fee. Though it should be said, this potential spike came after they began trying to stream more kid-friendly content.
Thomas & Friends will be available to stream on Netflix this March.