In a massive deal that will change the world of anime streaming as we know it, Sony Funimation Global Group completed its deal with AT&T to acquire Crunchyroll. The agreement, which was announced in December of 2020, combines two of the largest anime giants together in what may become the ultimate source for anime streaming around the world.
“The two brands you know and love will be working together, and we believe this is a great thing for fans and the industry, alike!” said Crunchyroll in a statement. “Both teams are knowledgeable, passionate, and have been committed to the anime community for decades. We couldn’t ask for better partners.”
“We are very excited to welcome Crunchyroll to the Sony Group,” said Kenichiro Yoshida, Chairman, President, and CEO, Sony Group Corporation in their official press release. “Anime is a rapidly growing medium that enthralls and inspires emotion among audiences around the globe. The alignment of Crunchyroll and Funimation will enable us to get even closer to the creators and fans who are the heart of the anime community. We look forward to delivering even more outstanding entertainment that fills the world with emotion through anime.”
This deal is likely to cause issues for AT&T’s other streaming service VRV as it got the majority of its anime content through Crunchyroll. With these two giants coming together, anime streaming rights for other platforms like Hulu and Netflix may also be affected. This also leaves RetroCrush, a streaming service focused on older and hard-to-find anime, one of the only primary competitors to his newly combined powerhouse.