Sony will buy AT&T’s animation business called Crunchyroll for $1.175 billion, as Japanese electronics company Sony seeks to boost its entertainment content and expand its distribution business, the deal will secure Sony’s access to Crunchyroll’s 3 million paying subscribers in more than 200 countries and regions around the world, which will help it compete with global entertainment giants such as Netflix.
Sony’s US animation distribution group Funimation Global, which has 1 million paid subscribers, will own and manage Crunchyroll which is part of AT&T’s WarnerMedia division, where AT&T has sought to sell non-core subsidiaries since management was handed over to the new CEO. John Stankey.
The deal will allow the company to invest in other areas of WarnerMedia, including the content and games industry, and according to what the sources said, the amount of the deal will be paid in cash when it closes.
Sony is developing its gaming and entertainment business with the goal of increasing continuous revenue streams that will mitigate the impact of cyclical sales of devices. In 2017, Sony acquired Funimation for $143 million.
Currently, Funimation has blossomed after the record-breaking success of the Japanese animated film “Demon Slayer“, which was co-distributed by Sony’s music service Aniplex. The film is expected to arrive in the United States in early 2021, and will be distributed by Funimation.