After a report earlier in the year that both Sony Pictures and Universal were eyeing up making a purchase of renowned anime distributor Funimation, Sony has made the move. While Funimation CEO Gen Fukunaga will be retaining his position and a minority stake in the company, the agreement sees Sony purchasing a huge 95% of Funimation.
Andy Kaplan, President of Worldwide Networks at Sony Pictures Television, said of the decision:
Around the world, Sony’s networks have been major players in the anime space for nearly two decades, and in more recent years we have rapidly increased our networks’ over-the-top and digital offerings to consumers. With the acquisition of Funimation, the combined IP of Animax, Kids Station and Funimation allows us to deliver the best anime to fans across all screens and platforms,
There’s a huge draw to Funimation, with a catalogue that boasts massive titles such as Cowboy Bebop, Dragon Ball Z, along with more recent successes My Hero Academia and Your Name.
The deal is sure to bolster Sony’s Animax network, and, with Sony behind the wheel of streaming service Crackle too, there might be a tie-in to Funimation’s own improving streaming service in there somewhere.
It’s not clear how the decision will affect UK distributors at this point in time, so we’ll just have to wait and see! Thanks to UK Anime Network for originally posting about this story!
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