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.