Sony Pictures Television Networks announced yesterday on their website that they have acquired the majority stake (95%) of popular streaming site Funimation for 143 million dollars. Current CEO Gen Fukunaga will retain his position with his 5% share. He commented:
‘With Funimation’s long-established leadership position in anime and Sony’s direct access to the creative pipeline in Japan, it will be a great partnership to take Funimation to the next level.’
It remains to be seen what that means for the future of the streaming site but the Chairman of Funimation, John A Kuelbs, and lead investor, Doug Deason, said, ‘Funimation experienced tremendous growth and success since 2011. We believe Sony, Gen and his team are uniquely positioned to lead Funimation and its fans into an exciting and entertaining future.’
Sony Pictures Television Networks is one of the parent company of the ANIMAX Japanese anime satellite television network (along with trading giant Mitsui & Co., Ltd; anime studios Sunrise, Toei Animation, and TMS Entertainment; and production company NAS) dedicated to broadcasting anime programming. The multi-platform provider of Japanese anime content currently operating in 23 countries, including Japan.