It was announced today that FUNimation has ended its partnership with Crunchyroll that saw the two companies share streaming licenses for anime series. The deal was first struck two years ago; however, now that AT&T has purchased Crunchyroll’s parent company and has a majority stake, FUNimation is pulling out of the deal. Crunchyroll is not the only AT&T-owned service that they are pulling out of as they look to end their deal with VRV as well.
The pact between Crunchyroll and FUNimation is set to end on November 9, 2018. At that time, all FUNimationNow subscribers will continue to have access to subbed anime titles when the catalog reverts back to FUNimation-only licenses. A handful of dubbed titles will no longer be available; however, FUNimation did not state at this time which of those dubbed titles will be excluded.
As for all of the titles that were shared with Crunchyroll during the 2-year deal, FUNimation is retaining the streaming rights to those titles and they will continue to be available to FUNimationNow subscribers. Titles that will be leaving Crunchyroll are as follows:
- My Hero Academia
- Cowboy Bebop
- Space Dandy
- Yu Yu Hakusho
- Assassination Classroom
- Snow White with the Red Hair
- Death Parade
Also on November 9, FUNimation’s anime channel will cease to exist on AT&T/Otter Media’s VRV service. Gen Fukunaga wrote a statement to all FUNimation staff, alerting them of the change. The full letter can be read below:
I am writing to share some important news. Effective immediately, Funimation will once again independently acquire, market and distribute anime to the entire community – to both sub and dub fans. This new future is a result of our acquisition by Sony Pictures Television and additional investments Sony is making in our business to make Funimation a global sub and dub anime brand. As such, we’ve made the decision not to renew our collaboration with Crunchyroll, a relationship that ended amicably this month.
Our goal has always been to improve the fan experience and expand the reach of anime. We exceeded our goals in the past couple of years and have established ourselves as the anime industry’s most advanced streaming platform, expanded our global footprint, and accelerated our dub speed to market for new episodes coming out of Japan. While our partnership with Crunchyroll is ending, we are excited about the future, the support of Sony Pictures Television and their commitment, alongside ours, to build the best experience for anime fans globally.
We have enormous respect for the relationship we forged with Crunchyroll and will be working with them closely over the next several months to ensure a seamless transition in terms of our respective catalogs and offerings. That said, there will be some immediate changes ahead as we unwind the partnership. On November 9, 2018, our subscribers will have access to several hundred subbed titles when our catalog reverts to Funimation, while a handful of dubbed titles will no longer be available on FunimationNow. All the titles licensed during the partnership will continue to be shared with Crunchyroll and available to FunimationNow subscribers.
Thank you for your tireless work and dedication as well as your unwavering commitment to bring the best anime to the most people possible.
Please join me and the senior management team for an all-hands meeting. We will be able to address any questions you may have then. In the meantime, I would direct you to the special FAQs created for fans and subscribers that are now live on the Funimation blog.
Information Source: Variety