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Funimation ends cross-licensing deal with Crunchyroll as it eyes global growth

Anime distributor Funimation has ended its cross-licensing deal with Crunchyroll after two years, as the Sony-owned outfit looks to expand its global presence.

The decision not to renew the 2016 deal with Crunchyroll – now fully owned by AT&T after it acquired Chernin Group’s stake in Otter Media – stems from Funimation’s own acquisition by Sony Pictures Television one year ago.

Sony is now making additional investments in the Funimation unit to make it a “global subtitled and dub anime brand”, said Gen Fukunaga, Funimation’s president and CEO.

According to an interview with Variety, the deal with Crunchyroll “ended amicably this month.”

As of November, FunimationNow streaming subscribers will have access to several hundred subbed anime titles when the catalogue reverts to Funimation. All the titles licensed during the partnership will continue to be shared with Crunchyroll and available to FunimationNow subscribers.

Top titles that will now be available in FunimationNow include My Hero Academia, Cowboy Bebop, Space Dandy, Yu Yu Hakusho, Assassination Classroom, Snow White with the Red Hair and Death Parade.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent some six years with both ToyNews and Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@bizmedia.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobHutchins3 if ranting is your thing...

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