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Koby

AT&T Wants $1.5 Billion in Crunchyroll Sale to Sony

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AT&T is in discussions to sell WarnerMedia’s Crunchyroll Japanese anime-streaming service to Sony, according to three people familiar with the situation. If the two sides could reach a deal—which is far from certain—it would strengthen Sony’s position in the niche market, as it already owns a rival anime service FUNimation. 

 

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But there’s a sticking point in the potential deal: price. AT&T is asking $1.5 billion, a price that Sony has balked at. It is well above recent values for other niche streaming services, analysts said.

 

Sony also recently took a stake in Bilibili.

 

It is speculated that the reason for possibly selling the company might have been to reduce debt. The company had been under pressure from shareholder Elliot Management to reduce their debt over the past year, but reportedly cut a deal with Elliott Management back in October.

 

They also believe that plans to sell the company might have also changed with WarnerMedia’s new CEO Jason Kilar stepping into the role. Kilar previously worked at Hulu and a report insinuates that anime was a key pillar at Hulu, one that Kilar hopes to replicate with WarnerMedia’s upcoming new streaming service HBO Max.

 

HBO Max and Crunchyroll recently announced that a number of animes available on Crunchyroll would also be available on HBO Max when the streaming service launches later this month.

 

Crunchyroll also promises they will “curate additional top anime titles for HBO Max each quarter, cultivating fresh offerings that appeal to new and existing anime fans including Hunter x Hunter and Death Note coming to the streamer within the first year of launch.”

 

HBO Max’s Chief Content Officer Kevin Reilly also praised anime in general, “Anime is a celebrated, diverse art form with a rich culture rooted in imaginative worlds and vibrant characters. Crunchyroll has centralized these fantastic adventures for everyone to enjoy.”

 

Not only are they going to be receiving anime from Crunchyroll, but HBO Max will also feature Studio Ghibli movies including Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away.

 

Clownfish TV’s Kneon speculates that Crunchyroll could be phased out and become wholly part of HBO Max, “So we are starting to get a bigger picture of what’s going on here. So it might be the new CEO who realizes that Hulu does do really well with anime. He might be like, ‘Stop! Stop it. We are not going to sell it off, but we might just fold the anime into HBO Max.'”

 

What do you make of this report? What do you think the future holds for Crunchyroll?

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Sony is basically Disney of Anime now at this point. They won't fucking stop until they own not just rival localization companies like Crunchyroll but then they'll target the manga market,the hentai market and even the visual novel and all of the japanese gaming market.

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47 minutes ago, Lonewolfe187 said:

Sony is basically Disney of Anime now at this point. They won't fucking stop until they own not just rival localization companies like Crunchyroll but then they'll target the manga market,the hentai market and even the visual novel and all of the japanese gaming market.

Sony actually laughed at the offer and said no. So either they come back with a lower price point or it's not happening. If anything AT&T may possibly try to roll Crunchyroll into HBO Max down the road. They're already testing the waters by adding a selection of the catalogue there.

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1 minute ago, Koby said:

Sony actually laughed at the offer and said no. So either they come back with a lower price point or it's not happening. If anything AT&T may possibly try to roll Crunchyroll into HBO Max down the road. They're already testing the waters by adding a selection of the catalogue there.

Most likely doubt its actually going to happen. 

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