Sony is buying anime streaming service Crunchyroll for $1.17 billion

Sony is doubling down on anime content

Plans to acquire premium anime streamer, Crunchyroll, from AT&T are already underway, the company announced in a statement made Wednesday. AT&T sold Crunchyroll for $1.17 billion.

The acquisition gives Sony a major edge. Crunchyroll has 3 million paying subscribers, all of whom will presumably be led to Sony’s own anime streaming service, Funimation. Netflix, too, has sights on a piece of the anime pie, having produced original anime titles and licensed staples like One Piece, ahead of the forthcoming live-action adaptation.

“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,” said Joanne Waage, general manager of Crunchyroll.

“The union of Funimation and Crunchyroll is a win for anime fans around the world that will elevate the art and culture of this medium for decades to come,” Colin Decker, CEO of Funimation Global Group.

Crunchyroll’s acquisition from AT&T means HBO Max subscribers will eventually lose access to a boatload of anime content. Interestingly, AT&T has been shopping for a new home for Crunchyroll for a while, so that it can zero in on HBO Max, arguably the conglomerate’s baby, especially after the announcement that the whole Warner Bros. film slate will drop on the platform, including Wonder Woman 1984, Dune, The Conjuring 3 and more.

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