After several months of negotiations, AT&T has finally confirmed an agreement for the sale of Crunchyroll to Funimation, a joint-venture between Sony Pictures Entertainment in the US and the Japanese Aniplex, the latter subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment. The transaction was valued at USD 1,175 million in cash. In order to reduce its debt load, AT&T has been looking for a buyer for Crunchyroll for the past few months.
According to specialized websites, the Crunchyroll content catalog, one of the largest in the world, currently includes more than a thousand titles and more than 30 thousand episodes of anime content. In addition, Funimation distributes more than 700 anime series, representing more than 13 thousand hours of content. Sony bought Funimation in 2017, in a deal valued at USD 150 million.
Up to now, it is unclear how Sony will combine Crunchyroll and Funimation’s offerings, and if their pricing will be merged into a single, unified offering. In addition, Funimation has recently launched its OTT in Brazil and Mexico, thus expanding its platform to Latin America.
‘We are proud to bring Crunchyroll to the Sony family’, said Tony Vinciquerra, CEO at Sony Pictures Entertainment, when announcing the deal. ‘Together with Crunchyroll, we will create the best possible experience for fans and a greater opportunity for creators, producers and publishers in Japan and elsewhere’, he added.