AT&T is getting out of the anime business.
“We are excited to embark on this new journey,” says Crunchyroll General Manager Joanne Waage. “Crunchyroll has built a world-class brand with a passionate fanbase … these amazing fans have helped to propel anime into a global phenomenon. Combining the strength of the Crunchyroll brand and the expertise of our global team with Funimation is an exciting prospect and a win for the incredible art form of anime.”
Anime is experiencing a Renaissance of sorts and Crunchyroll has been leading the charge with more than 90 million registered users across more than 200 countries and territories. The service, which had been operating within AT&T’s WarnerMedia unit, offers streaming video content, mobile games, manga, and has maintained a large presence at fan events and conventions where it offers a wide array of exclusive must-have merch.
“We are proud to bring Crunchyroll into the Sony family,” says 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 art form 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.”
Pending all the customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals that a sale such as this entails, the final bill to Sony will be around $1.175 billion.