December 12, 2018

USA: Hulu Inks Anime Deal with Sony's Funimation Ink. Will Now Have Exclusive U.S. Streaming Rights To Hit Japanese Anime Series.

The Hollywood Reporter
Hulu Inks Anime Deal with Sony's Funimation Ink
written by Patrick Brzeski
Wednesday December 5, 2018

The partnership will give Hulu exclusive U.S. streaming rights to hit Japanese anime series like 'Tokyo Ghoul,' 'Attack on Titan' and 'My Hero Academia.'

U.S.-based fans of Japanese anime will soon find a trove of their favorite content popping up on Hulu.

The streaming service has inked a multi-year partnership and output deal with anime specialist Funimation, the subsidiary of Sony Pictures Television.

Hulu described the pact as its "largest agreement for anime programming to date," significantly expanding its collection of subtitled and dubbed titles, including exclusive digital rights to international hits like My Hero Academia, Attack on Titan and Tokyo Ghoul.

The deal also grants Hulu a first look at on-demand U.S. streaming rights to future anime series released by Funimation beginning in 2019. These future titles will premiere day-and-date on Hulu and Funimation with the worldwide premieres in Japan.

"With this new deal, we are doubling-down on our investment to continue growing our world-class anime offering with even more shows that we know our viewers love to watch," said Lisa Holme, Hulu's vp content acquisition.

Added Gen Fukunaga, president and CEO at Funimation: "It will fuel the acquisition of new titles and provide both Funimation and Hulu subscribers with access to the very best in anime that Japan has to offer."

Funimation, which specializes in releasing Japanese anime in the U.S. theatrically and online, already boasts an expansive catalog of titles in the genre, including more than 600 shows. The company has released hit anime films like Your Name (2017) in U.S. cinemas, and also operates the subscription streaming service FunimationNOW, which is available via Sony's PlayStation Store, iTunes Store, Google Play, Amazon Apps, Xbox Game Store and mobile devices. Funimation also sells merchandise and DVDs online.

In 2017, Sony Pictures Television Networks unveiled a deal to buy a 95 percent stake in Funimation for $143 million, valuing the company at approximately $150 million.

Hulu has made anime an area of focus for its library, and already offers well-known favorites in the genre, including Naruto Shippuden, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, One-Punch Man, Sailor Moon and Sword Art Online, as well as various exclusive simulcasts and dubbed episodes.

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