Crunchyroll confirmed with ANN on Friday that since Ellation’s VRV bundle streaming service is a Crunchyroll brand, VRV is also now part of Sony following Sony‘s Funimation Global Group’s acquisition of Crunchyroll from AT&T.
Sony Pictures Entertainment and AT&T announced on Monday that Sony‘s Funimation Global Group had completed its acquisition of Crunchyroll. The purchase price was US$1.175 billion, and the proceeds were paid in cash at closing.
The announcement did not reveal how or if the individual streaming platforms would merge or plans for subscription costs for users.
Crunchyroll and Funimation first announced the acquisition in December 2020 with a purchase price of US$1.175 billion. The technology website The Information reported in August 2020 that AT&T offered Crunchyroll to Sony for US$1.5 billion and that Sony reported “balked at” the price, which effectively values the streaming service at US$500 per subscriber. Entertainment news source Variety reported that AT&T was shopping the company to multiple potential buyers aside from Sony Pictures Entertainment at that time. Nikkei Asia later reported that October that Sony was in final negotiations for the Crunchyroll acquisition. At that time, the newspaper reported that Sony “could end up spending more than 100 billion yen ($957 million).”
VRV is a subscription bundle that includes anime streaming service Crunchyroll as well as several other streaming services, including Cartoon Hangover, Rooster Teeth, and Mondo. The service used to include Funimation until November 2018, following an announcement that Crunchyroll and FUNimation Entertainment would end their partnership to share content. VRV added the HIDIVE streaming service’s content in November 2018.
Source: Email correspondence