AT&T Sells Crunchyroll to Sony for $1.175 Billion

(Image credit: Crunchyroll)

AT&T, looking to get out from under a mountain of debt, said it agreed to sell its Crunchyroll anime business for $1.175 billion to Sony’s Funimation Global Group.

AT&T is reportedly in the process of selling its DirecTV unit and has gotten bids exceeding $15 billion and parts of its Xandr advanced advertising unit are on the block.

Cruncyroll has more than 3 million subscription video on demand subscribers and serves 90 million registered users across 200 countries.

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“We are proud to bring Crunchyroll into the Sony family,” said Tony Vinciquerra, chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment. 

“Through Funimation and our terrific partners at Aniplex and Sony Music Entertainment Japan, we have a deep understanding of this global artform and are well-positioned to deliver outstanding content to audiences around the world,” Vinciquerra said. “Together with Crunchyroll, we will create the best possible experience for fans and greater opportunity for creators, producers and publishers in Japan and elsewhere. Funimation has been doing this for over 25 years and we look forward to continuing to leverage the power of creativity and technology to succeed in this rapidly growing segment of entertainment.”

Funimation is a joint venture between Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony Music Entertainment’s Aniplex subsidiary. It's streaming services offer over 700 anime series and more than 13,000 hours of content available on 15 platforms and in 49 countries. Funimation’s in-house team designs must-have, exclusive collectibles distributed through major retailers and an e-commerce site.

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.