Nielson ratings for Saturday, June 8 released by the WB network indicate that the Kids WB Saturday morning lineup, which includes Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokemon, and Powerpuff Girls, dominated all the other networks and cable outlets, delivering top numbers in almost all kids demographic categories. Yu-Gi-Oh! was the top program among all competition including cable for boys 6-11 with a strong 6.9 rating/27 share. Continued broadcast success is key for Yu-Gi-Oh! if the game is to breakout from cult hit to mass market phenomenon. Yu-Gi-Oh!, which vanquished Pokemon in Japan (see 'Yu-Gi-Oh! To Debut on Kids WB'), may never equal the enormous Pokemon 'boom' in CCG or merchandise sales here in the States, but the Yu-Gi-Oh! TV series is currently outperforming Pokemon, and the Yu-Gi-Oh! CCG appears to be poised to become one of the top performers in its category.
Judging the potential of a product like the Yu-Gi-Oh CCG is extremely difficult for retailers, because, for a variety of reasons including low pre-orders, the first waves of product fell well short of satisfying market demand. While some saw this as an example of 'planned scarcity,' and worried about the potential for loss (see 'Eckman of Classic Cards on Yu-Gi-Oh White Hot') the current popularity of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TV series provides some hope that the audience for the CCG will expand to absorb the inevitable increases in production of the CCG components.