London/Japan – HIT Entertainment has announced a major deal that will see the new CGI series of Thomas & Friends air on Japanese public broadcaster NHK for the very first time. Broadcast distribution on NHK will significantly increase the presence of the brand in the country.

As part of the multi-year agreement, Thomas & Friends will air weekly on NHK’s children’s entertainment block starting this month. The content will include all of the new CG-animated series as well as the hourlong Thomas & Friends specials, which NHK plans to air on a spot basis.  All programming will be broadcast in Japanese. NHK will also take a co-production credit in Japan starting with series 16.