×

Shout! Factory Strikes ‘Ultraman’ Digital Distribution Deal With Mill Creek

Performers Dressed Ultraman Characters Attend the
Christopher Jue/EPA/Shutterstock

Shout! Factory, a specialty distributor and channels operator, will become a major North American home for the iconic Japanese “Ultraman” shows following a deal with Alliance Entertainment / Mill Creek Entertainment.

The multi-year alliance provides Shout! Factory and its multi-platform streaming service, Shout! Factory TV with exclusive SVOD and AVOD digital rights in the U.S. and Canada to creator Tsuburaya’s catalog of “Ultraman” properties. These include more than 1,100 episodes and 20 movies.

Shout! Factory TV plans an aggressive rollout of “Ultraman” pop culture properties on its new Tokushoutsu streaming channel this year, including individual programs and complete series.

The deal has the blessing of Tsuburaya Productions and Indigo Entertainment. Mill Creek continues to promote transactional VOD access to “Ultraman” on its own MovieSPREE platform, and retaians DVD and Blu-Ray rights. Mill Creek has designated July 10 as “Ultraman Day.”

The classic Ultraman live-action television series began in the 1960s and 1970s. Hailing from the distant Nebula M78, the Ultraman character is a giant of light who protects Earth and the human race from an endless array of invading aliens and terrifying monsters. He blends in with humans, but has the ability to extend his height to over 130 feet, and emerges in times of extreme danger. He is often teamed with the crew of the Earth-based defense team  and together they use high-tech weapons and vehicles.

“A colossus of the ‘tokusatsu’ genre, ‘Ultraman’ is one of the most beloved and enduring pop culture brands in the world and, amazingly, it’s still growing,” said Jordan Fields, VP of acquisitions at Shout! Factory. “It’s particularly exciting to present more than 50 years of TV series and feature films to North American audiences, much of it for the first time,” said Jordan Fields, VP of acquisitions at Shout! Factory. The character reportedly generates over $50 million per year in toys and merchandise in Japan.

Shout! Factory TV has previously presented “Ultraman Leo” and multiple seasons of other popular Japanese tokusatsu series. Additional shows covered by the new deal include: “Ultra Q,” “Ultraseven,” “Ultraman Gaia,”and “Mega Monster Battle Ultra Galaxy: The Movie.”

“As we actively expand our reach in streaming and digital platforms, this deal exemplifies the type of pop culture content we plan to pursue, which taps into the interests and passions of our loyal fanbase,” said Gene Pao senior VP of Shout! Factory’s digital enterprises and Shout! Factory TV.