. . Weltnachrichten – USA – AT&T sells Crunchyroll to Sony’s Funimation for US $ 1. 175 billion

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AT&T has signed an agreement to sell its Crunchyroll anime business to Sony’s Funimation Group for $ 1. 175 billion in cash, announced the company.

Funimation, a joint venture between Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony Music Entertainment (Japan), Aniplex, has been a major rival of Crunchyroll in the global Japanese anime fandom market. AT&T, looking to reduce its debt burden, has been looking for a buyer for Crunchyroll for several months. Variety previously reported that AT&T’s WarnerMedia intended to sell the device for at least $ 1 billion.

Crunchyroll advertises more than 3 million subscription VoD subscribers and approximately 90 million registered users in more than 200 countries and territories. It offers ad-supported VoD, mobile games, manga, event merchandise and distribution. According to Crunchyroll, it has more than 1. 000 titles and over 30. 000 episodes it claims to be the world’s largest library of anime.

In the U. . S.. . Crunchyroll’s ad-free subscription service is $ 7. 99 per month and includes simulcasts of Japanese anime programs as soon as they air in the country one hour after they air.

Funimations U. . S.. . Streaming subscriptions start at $ 5. 99 per month. Funimation distributes over 700 anime series, including more than 13. 000 hours of content and is available in 49 countries. Sony, which bought Funimation in 2017 on a $ 150 million deal, has not disclosed the number of subscribers or users for the service.

It is currently unclear how Sony will combine Crunchyroll and Funimation – and whether prices for one of their services will rise or possibly be merged into a single offering.

« We are proud to add Crunchyroll to the Sony family, » said Tony Vinciquerra, CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, upon the announcement of the deal. “Together with Crunchyroll, we will create the best possible experience for fans and greater opportunity for creators, producers and publishers in Japan and elsewhere. ”

Tony Goncalves, WarnerMedia’s Chief Revenue Officer, stated, “The success of Crunchyroll is a direct result of the company’s culture and dedication to its fans. By combining it with Funimation, they will continue to have a global community and provide more anime to more people. ”

Funimation was founded in 1994 by Gen Fukunaga after a career in IT and consulting. He left the role of GM last year. Funimation is currently led by CEO Colin Decker, who previously served as COO at Crunchyroll in previous roles.

Crunchyroll was founded in 2006 and is currently headed by General Manager Joanne Waage. At the end of 2018, she took over the position of co-founder and former GM Kun Gao.

« We are excited to embark on this new journey, » Libra said in a statement. “Combining the strength of the Crunchyroll brand and the expertise of our global team with Funimation is an exciting prospect and an asset to the incredible art form of anime. ”

A few years ago, Funimation and Crunchyroll had previously entered into a mutual content licensing agreement (under which Crunchyroll had subtitle versions and Funimation offered dubbed versions of the same shows). . But Sony ended that deal in 2018.

Crunchyroll was incorporated into the Otter Media division of WarnerMedia after AT&T bought the Chernin Group’s majority stake in Otter in 2018. Peter Chernin’s company acquired a majority stake in Crunchyroll in 2013 for $ 75 million.

Crunchyroll, Funimation, Sony Corporation, AT&T, Aniplex

World News – USA – AT&T sells Crunchyroll to Sony Funimation for 1 USD. 175 billion
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Ref: https://variety.com

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