AT&T to Sell Crunchyroll to Sony’s Funimation Global Group
Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. and AT&T Inc. today announced that AT&T agreed to sell its Crunchyroll anime business to Funimation Global Group, LLC. Funimation is a joint venture between Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. and Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc.’s subsidiary, Aniplex Inc.
Crunchyroll is a premier anime direct-to-consumer service within AT&T’s WarnerMedia segment with more than 3 million SVOD subscribers and growing. It serves 90 million registered users across more than 200 countries and territories offeringAVOD, mobile games, manga, events merchandise and distribution. The combination of Crunchyroll and Funimation provides the opportunity to broaden distribution for their content partners and expand fan-centric offerings for consumers.
“The Crunchyroll team has done an extraordinary job of not only growing the Crunchyroll brand but also building a passionate community of anime fans. Crunchyroll’s success is a direct result of the company’s culture and commitment to their fans,” said Tony Goncalves, Chief Revenue Officer, WarnerMedia. “By combining with Funimation, they will continue to nurture a global community and bring more anime to more people. I’m incredibly proud of the Crunchyroll team and what they have been able to accomplish in the digital media space in such a short period of time. They’ve created an end-to-end global ecosystem for this incredible art form.”
“We are proud to bring Crunchyroll into the Sony family,” said Tony Vinciquerra, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment. “Through Funimation and our terrific partners at Aniplex and Sony Music Entertainment Japan, we have a deep understanding of this global artform and are well-positioned to deliver outstanding content to audiences around the world. Together with Crunchyroll, we will create the best possible experience for fans and greater opportunity for creators, producers and publishers in Japan and elsewhere. Funimation has been doing this for over 25 years and we look forward to continuing to leverage the power of creativity and technology to succeed in this rapidly growing segment of entertainment.”
The purchase price for the transaction is $1.175 billion subject to customary working capital and other adjustments, and the proceeds will be paid in cash at closing. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
This deal leaves a lot of Crunchyroll and Funimation subscribers up in limbo in terms of how things will work once the deal is finalized. And it begs to question if the two platforms will be merged and combined into one mega anime platform or will Crunchyroll and Funimation still be their own separate entities despite the sale. While these questions will take time to be answered, we are expecting word from Sony, Funimation, and Crunchyroll real soon.
For more exclusive interviews, anime reviews, news, trailers, and updates make sure to keep it locked right here at The Nerdy Basement. While you’re here check out our exclusive interviews with the English Dub cast of The God of High School, Johnny Yong Bosch, and Jeannie Tirado, and consider supporting us on Patreon.