Sony is about to finalize a deal to buy its US-based cartoon streaming service Crunchyroll for nearly $ 1 billion, according to a report from Nikkei Asia.
Nikkei said Sony was in exclusive talks to bid for its streaming service and that 3 million people signed up to pay its fee earlier this year, and the two companies are now “into final negotiations”. Although the asking price is not clear, Nikkei Note that Sony could ultimately spend “more than 100 billion yen” on the company – about $ 957 million.
Crunchyroll, owned by US telecom giant AT&T, is said to have sought to offload streaming services for a while. AT&T is keen to reduce its significant amount of debt, totaling more than $ 150 billion. As reported from InformationAT&T asked Sony to pay $ 1.5 billion in August for Crunchyroll, but the Japanese company thinks the price is too high. AT&T currently includes some anime content from Crunchyroll on its HBO Max subscription and offers a separate Crunchyroll membership for $ 8 a month.
From Sony’s point of view, the Crunchyroll acquisition would help it boost entertainment offerings in a market dominated by streamers like Netflix and Hulu. Anime has become a key front in the battle between streaming services, with companies struggling to license popular movies and movies (the end result is distributed access to consumers).
Sony already owns US animation distributor Funimation, which licenses several popular shows such as Attack on giants, Fullmetal Alchemistand One mouthpiece. Acquiring Crunchyroll will help them grow their portfolio even further, expanding their supply in Japan and abroad.