×

Sony’s Funimation Acquires U.K. Anime Distributor Manga Entertainment

Funimation, as part of its expansion push under Sony Pictures Television’s ownership, acquired Manga Entertainment, a London-based distributor of anime titles in the U.K. and Ireland.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Funimation will merge Manga’s business with the Funimation U.K. home entertainment business and will begin distributing many shows in the Manga catalog to subscribers of the FunimationNow streaming service in the U.K. and Ireland.

Title available immediately include “Sword Art Online” season 1 (pictured above), “Akira,” “Ghost in the Shell: Innocence,” “A Certain Magical Index” (the movie and seasons 1 & 2), “A Certain Scientific Railgun” (seasons 1 & 2), “Bayonetta (The Movie): Bloody Fate,” “Casshern Sins,” “Samurai Warriors” season 1, “Soul Eater Not!,” “Summer Wars,” “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” and “Wolf Children.” Additional Manga titles slated to come to Funimation in the U.K. and Ireland in the next several months include series “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood” and “Naruto Shippuden.”

With the acquisition, Manga — previously a long-term Funimation partner — will have a catalog of more than 900 hours of subtitled and dubbed anime content, which Sony Pictures TV says is the biggest lineup of anime titles in the U.K. and Ireland.

Popular on Variety

Funimation currently offers FunimationNow in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. In the U.K./Ireland, the Premium Plus subscription costs £4.99 per month or £49.99 per year. In November 2018, FunimationNow became the first Sony Pictures Television service to launch on Amazon’s Prime Video Channels in the U.K.

“Together with the Manga team, Funimation will bring its fan-first omnichannel approach to serving anime fans – engaging with them directly through the widest array of touchpoints,” Mitchel Berger, VP of sales and distribution for Funimation, said in a statement.

Manga Entertainment, founded in 1987, specializes in the licensing, marketing and distribution of Japanese animation as well as other pop-culture brands like “Halo,” “Transformers: The Movie 30th Anniversary Edition,” “Pokemon” and “Yu-Gi-Oh!”

“On behalf of Manga Entertainment, we’re thrilled to join Funimation and their expanding global business,” commented Jerome Mazandarani, managing director of Manga Entertainment. “We’re excited for the new opportunities that lie ahead and to serve anime fans in the U.K. and Ireland in a bigger way than ever before.”

All told, Funimation’s catalog comprises over 600 titles, representing over 10,000 hours of subbed and dubbed anime. Sony Pictures Television in July 2017 acquired a 95% majority stake in Funimation for $143 million with Funimation founder Gen Fukunaga retaining a minority stake.

Earlier this month, SPT named Colin Decker, who was once a senior executive at Funimation rival Crunchyroll, as its general manager after Fukunaga stepped back from day-to-day management to move into a chairman role.

In the U.S., Funimation last fall ended its cross-licensing deal with Crunchyroll, which is owned by AT&T’s Otter Media, so that Funimation could offer both subtitled and dubbed anime. And in late 2018, Funimation reached an exclusive first-look pact with Hulu, under which Hulu is distributing new titles licensed and produced by Funimation.

More Digital

  • ‘Drag Race’ Producers Greenlight Two Docu-Series

    ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Producers Greenlight Two Docu-Series for SVOD (EXCLUSIVE)

    “RuPaul’s Drag Race” producer World of Wonder has greenlit two docu-series: “God Shave the Queens!” and an “Untitled Trinity Taylor Pageant Project.” The announcement will be made Sunday at the first-ever DragCon U.K. convention, which is taking place at Olympia, London. “God Shave the Queens!” features the first-ever cast of “RuPaul’s Drag Race UK” and [...]

  • VRrOOm Launching VR Platform for Immersive,

    VRrOOm to Launch VR Platform for Immersive, Multi-User Streaming of Live Events

    French VR company VRrOOm is launching a six degrees of freedom (6-DoF) social VR platform that operates within the VRChat live platform, and enables multiple users to take part in live events, and includes the possibility of real-time photo-realistic representation. Louis Cacciuttolo founded VRrOOm in 2016 after working three years at THX in San Francisco. [...]

  • Any Given Wednesday With Bill Simmons

    Spotify in Talks to Acquire Bill Simmons' The Ringer: Report

    Spotify is in early talks to acquire The Ringer, the digital content and podcast network launched by ESPN alum Bill Simmons in 2016, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. A representative for Spotify declined to comment on the report. Reps for Ringer did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Spotify’s [...]

  • Ted Sarandos Milestone Award PGA

    Netflix Leader Ted Sarandos Plans Broader Creative Push for the Future

    Ted Sarandos, who has helped to upend the way audiences receive and consume entertainment as Netflix’s chief content officer, will be honored with the Milestone Award at the 31st annual Producers Guild Awards on Jan. 18. Game-changers including Steven Spielberg, Sherry Lansing, Robert Iger, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Ron Meyer have previously received the recognition, and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content