Earlier today Deadline broke the news that Sony Pictures Television would purchase a majority stake in the company, 95% to be exact. They assured fans that the current CEO Gen Fukunaga and the team at Funimation would remain in place. Fans around the globe started to freak out and some celebrate the news.
However, most were confused by what this meant. Funimation has released a press release, shown below, that answers these questions. The long and short of it is that nothing is expected to change from the current service, license or release stand point. The cash infusion into the company and backing of Sony will open up doors to faster, larger and better license acquisition and releases down the road. No changes are expected with the Crunchyroll/Funimation partnership either.
The deal is estimated at $143 million for the majority share, on a valuation of $150 million overall.
Founder Gen Fukunaga started Funimation with a vision and a mission to make anime as accessible as possible to fans across the world. In the 23 years since we began, we have been committed to creating anime experiences fans love: from bringing Dragon Ball to the U.S., to bringing the best anime to home video and theaters, to SimulDubs that bring episodes in English to fans within two weeks after they air in Japan, to the world’s largest dubbed streaming catalog on FunimationNow.
Today, we announced that Funimation has agreed to sell a substantial majority stake to Sony Pictures Television Networks (SPTN). SPTN is one of the preeminent names in entertainment, and shares our vision to deliver anime to fans globally across all screens and platforms.
We know you have questions and we’ve answered some of them below. We encourage you to read these answers and thank you for your support and for watching!
Will the Funimation team change?
Currently, our plan is for Funimation to operate as it has to date. Gen will remain CEO, and the team will continue to deliver the best anime experiences we can to you.
Is this a partnership, merger, or an acquisition?
Funimation has agreed to sell a substantial majority stake to Sony Pictures Television Networks.
How is this acquisition related to Aniplex?
This transaction does not involve Aniplex.
What does this mean for your products and services?
Funimation remains committed to making our physical and digital products as accessible to fans as possible and we have no plans to change pricing and placement of our physical or digital product. FunimationNow will remain the same price and will be available in all of its current territories.
Will this delay the release of any content?
There will be no impact to our SimulDub, home video release or theatrical schedules.
Will this affect the production or quality of dubs coming from Funimation?
Funimation will always strive to honor the intent of the Japanese creators in our productions. There will be no changes to our translation, script writing, voice actors or production staff. We will be keeping our production facilities in Texas so we can continue to bring SimulDubs to you within two weeks of the Japanese broadcast date.
Does this mean Funimation will be buying more or less anime?
Funimation remains committed to bringing you the biggest and best English dubbed anime library, along with new seasons of SimulDubs within two weeks of their broadcast in Japan.
How does this affect my FunimationNow subscription?
The FunimationNow service remains the same – there will be no change in your subscription terms, pricing or content availability.
Does this mean Funimation content will be available on Crackle or Playstation Vue?
We have always tried to make our content accessible as widely as possible for our fans and will continue to do so. This does not change the FunimationNow service.
What does this mean for fans outside of the U.S.?
We are already delivering anime to fans in the U.K., Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand through FunimationNow. Service to these regions will not change because of this deal.