BY J. CLARA CHAN | HollywoodReporter.Com
The anime streaming service has 5 million subscribers and more than 120 million registered users.
Sony has completed its nearly $1.2 billion acquisition of the anime streaming service, Crunchyroll, from AT&T, the company said on Monday.
The acquisition, which was first announced in December, brings Crunchyroll to Funimation, a joint venture between Sony Pictures and Sony Music’s Aniplex. With Crunchyroll housed under Funimation, Sony will now be able to expand its status in the anime industry and reach Crunchyroll’s 5 million subscribers and more than 120 million registered users.
Boasting over 1,000 anime titles and distribution rights for more than 30,000 episodes, Crunchyroll also comes with an extensive library and a gaming division that develops web and mobile games based on popular shows in English-speaking markets.
“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,” Kenichiro Yoshida, the president and CEO of Sony Group Corporation, said in a statement. “We look forward to delivering even more outstanding entertainment that fills the world with emotion through anime.”
Tony Vinciquerra, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., added that the Crunchyroll acquisition will provide an “unprecedented opportunity” to deliver content across “theatrical, events, home entertainment, games, streaming, linear TV.”
“With the addition of Crunchyroll, we have an unprecedented opportunity to serve anime fans like never before and deliver the anime experience across any platform they choose,” Vinciquerra said. “Our goal is to create a unified anime subscription experience as soon as possible.”
Sony paid a total of $1.175 billion in cash to close the deal with AT&T, the company said. AT&T is expected to use the funds to reduce the company’s debt.
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