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Sony completes Crunchyroll buyout as subscribers grow to 5 million

Sony completes its Crunchyroll buyout from AT&T for $1.175bn as registered users and paid subscribers grow by multiple millions.

Published Mon, Aug 9 2021 5:40 PM CDT   |   Updated Fri, Sep 10 2021 6:31 PM CDT

It's official: Sony now owns the Crunchyroll anime streaming service.

Sony completes Crunchyroll buyout as subscribers grow to 5 million 53 | TweakTown.com

Today Sony announced that it has finalized its acquisition of popular streaming service Crunchyroll. Sony paid AT&T nearly $1.2 billion for the service. The buyout is the second salvo in Sony's push for anime dominance following the initial buyout of Funimation in 2017 for $143 million. Crunchyroll will be nestled under Sony's Funimation label, which is handled by Sony Pictures Entertainment and subsidiary Aniplex.

Crunchyroll has seen strong growth in the last six months since the buyout was announced. The service's overall registered users grew by 30 million people to 120 million, and paying subscribers have grown from 3 million to 5 million.

"The purchase price for the transaction is $1.175 billion, subject to customary working capital and other adjustments, and the proceeds were paid in cash at closing. AT&T expects to use the proceeds from this transaction to help support its debt reduction efforts, with plans to reach a net debt-to-adjusted EBITDA of below 2.5x by year-end 2023," reads an SEC filing.

Sony executives say Crunchyroll will add significant value to its services.

"Crunchyroll adds tremendous value to Sony's existing anime businesses, including Funimation and our terrific partners at Aniplex and Sony Music Entertainment Japan," said Tony Vinciquerra, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.

"With Crunchyroll and Funimation, we are committed to creating the ultimate anime experience for fans and presenting a unique opportunity for our key partners, publishers, and the immensely talented creators to continue to deliver their masterful content to audiences around the world. With the addition of Crunchyroll, we have an unprecedented opportunity to serve anime fans like never before and deliver the anime experience across any platform they choose, from theatrical, events, home entertainment, games, streaming, linear TV -- everywhere and every way fans want to experience their anime. Our goal is to create a unified anime subscription experience as soon as possible."

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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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