Last December, Sony, through their Funimation Global Group (former Flower Mound, Texas office pictured above), made public its intent to acquire anime streaming service Crunchyroll. Today, the ink has dried on that deal which officially brings Crunchyroll under the umbrella of the Japanese media giant that already includes anime production company Aniplex.
Until today, Crunchyroll was owned by AT&T through its Warner Media division. Founded in 2006, Crunchyroll has expanded its online presence which recently surpassed five million paid subscribers and over 120 million registered accounts from more than 200 countries and territories. In December 2019, San Francisco-based Crunchyroll acquired Viz Europe adding KAZÉ, AV Visionen to its portfolio. Additionally, Crunchyroll Games also distributes mobile games on Android and Apple iOS devices outside of Asia.
“We are very excited to welcome Crunchyroll to the Sony Group. Anime is a rapidly growing medium that enthralls and inspires emotion among audiences around the globe. The alignment of Crunchyroll and Funimation will enable us to get even closer to the creators and fans who are the heart of the anime community. We look forward to delivering even more outstanding entertainment that fills the world with emotion through anime.”— Kenichiro Yoshida, Chairman, President and CEO, Sony Group Corporation
Funimation was created in 1994 to license and distribute anime in the United States, including English dubbed episodes of popular series. Since then, it has amassed a library of more than 700 series with over 13,000 hours of content across 15 platforms, plus distribution and marketing of anime films, merchandising and more. According to the press release, Funimation has raised the bar when it comes to dubbing anime in multiple languages, not to mention simultaneous releases throughout 49 countries and territories.
As a division of Tokyo-based Sony Group Corporation, Sony Pictures Entertainment commands a huge global presence in the field through the management of film and television production, broadcast and distribution, studios and facilities as well as creation of new concepts, technologies and services. Familiar subsidiaries include Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems, TriStar Pictures, 3000 Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Stage 6 Films, AFFIRM Films, Sony Pictures International Productions, and Sony Pictures Classics.
The deal is valued at $1.175 billion USD, paid in working capital and cash, will help AT&T pay down its debt.
Source: Sony Pictures Entertainment press release
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