As we’ve reported several times, AT&T spent so much money to acquire WarnerMedia that they now have to sell off bits and pieces of WarnerMedia just to pay the bill. They’ve had their eye on offloading several divisions, but have settled on ejecting Crunchyroll, the anime streaming service. It’s either more popular or less popular than Funimation’s stream depending on who you ask, but soon it may not matter.
Sony owns Funimation, and they’ve long been reported as one of the lead parties interested in taking the Crunchyroll deal. A news report from Nikkei Asia suggests they’ve come to the stage of exclusive negotiation rights, which means the odds of someone else winning the bid war are low.
I could explain how monopolies are bad, but you should be smart enough to already know this sucks, so I’ll leave the patronizing preaching to every other reporter on the Net. The deal is estimated now at $957 million, which is lower than the $1 billion AT&T wanted the last time we reported on this, and THAT was lower than the $1.5 billion they asked for to start out with.
If that’s truly the end of it, then Warners didn’t own Crunchyroll for very long (only two years) and they barely took advantage of the fact when they had it. Ownership of America’s most iconic anime TV block, Toonami, could have meant sharing shows between the two…at least in a world run by common sense. But the only Crunchyroll original to run on Toonami so far has been Mob Psycho 100, and even then, just the first season of it.
There are a few Crunchyroll-Adult Swim joint ventures on the way, such as a prequel to the Blade Runner movies and an adaption of the Shenmue video game series, but these are likely all that will ever be.