AMC Networks Adds to Streaming Portfolio with Sentai Anime Acquisition

Food Wars AMC Network Sentai
'Food Wars' is one of the titles distributed by Sentai, acquired by AMC Networks (Image credit: AMC Networks)

AMC Networks said it acquired Sentai Holdings, a supplier of anime content and merchandise, from Cool Japan Fund Inc., a private investment fund.

Included in the deal is Hidive, a direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service that will join AMC’s stable of targeted, genre-specific streaming services.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Also: AT&T Closes $1.175 Billion CrunchyRoll Sale to Sony

“With a seasoned team, strong content and direct-to-consumer offerings for fans around the world, Sentai is a key global player in anime,” said AMC Networks Interim CEO Matt Blank.

“This acquisition builds on AMC Networks’ already strong IP and franchises, and furthers our targeted streaming strategy of super-serving passionate audiences with content depth, curation and community,” Blank said. “With the addition of Sentai, we see an even greater opportunity to build on AMC Networks’ position as the global leader in targeted streaming, as we continue to grow a sustainable and long-term profitable streaming business that will be transformational for our company.”

At a time when cord-cutting is eroding its traditional cable business, AMC expects its streaming services, including AMC Plus, Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now  and ALLBLK, to reach between 20 million and 25 million paid subscribers by 2025. They were forecasted to finish 2021 with 9 million subscribers.

Sentai’s management team of founder John Ledford, Griffin Vance and Paul Clinkscales, will continue on in senior roles, AMC said. 

“We are thrilled by AMC Networks’ acquisition and are excited to be a part of their growth strategy," said Ledford. "This acquisition will not change Sentai’s mission to deliver the most exciting anime content to audiences around the world — it will expand it greatly and will give our content businesses more distribution, more partnerships, more scale and more reach. I could not be more pleased.” ■ 

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.