Sony Pictures Entertainment has announced to buy anime streaming service Crunchyroll from US telecom giant AT&T for $1.175 billion.
Crunchyroll is a premier anime direct-to-consumer service within AT&T's WarnerMedia segment with more than 3 million SVOD (subscription video on demand) subscribers and growing.
It serves 90 million registered users across more than 200 countries and territories offering AVOD (ad-based video on demand), mobile games, manga, events merchandise and distribution.
Crunchyroll will become part of Sony's Funimation, which already licenses several popular shows such as Attack on Titan, Fullmetal Alchemist, and One Piece, the two companies said in a statement late on Wednesday.
"By combining with Funimation, they will continue to nurture a global community and bring more anime to more people," said Tony Goncalves, Chief Revenue Officer, WarnerMedia.
The combination of Crunchyroll and Funimation provides the opportunity to broaden distribution for their content partners and expand fan-centric offerings for consumers.
"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".
Funimation's streaming services offer a growing catalog of over 700 anime series and more than 13,000 hours of content available on 15 platforms and in 49 countries.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.