Anime video subscription service Crunchyroll is taking over TV — in the middle of the night: Crunchyroll has produced a half-hour holiday special that is airing mostly in the wee hours on a number of cable channels, including CW Plus, Spike, TLC and the Esquire Network.
The half hour is being hosted by Anime News network columnist Mike Toole, and features clips from a number of Crunchyroll anime shows, as well as comedic bits that both promote and make fun of the subscription service. It will air on TV until Saturday, and there’s also a video of it available online.
The half-hour special doesn’t exactly have the production value of Netflix’s Bill Murray holiday extravaganza, and is clearly meant as an advertising for the service. As such, it’s pretty cheesy at times, but also funny, and seems to vibe with Crunchyroll’s audience. Said one viewer on Crunchyroll’s forum: “I have been a member of (Crunchyroll) for 8 1/2 years…I never would have thought I would see the day that something from (Crunchyroll) would be aired on TV…this is beautiful!! Thank you!!”
Crunchyroll is owned and operated by Ellation, the video subscription subsidiary of Otter Media, which itself is a joint venture between AT&T and the Chernin Group. The anime video service has more than 700,000 paying subscribers. Otter Media is expected to bring in more than $200 million in revenue this year with all of its video services, which also include Fullscreen.