Sony To Acquire Majority Stake in Funimation

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Sony To Acquire Majority Stake in Funimation

Post by Lord Beerus » Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:20 am

I'm not entirely sure how much of this will affect Dragon Ball, if at all, but I thought I'd still share the news that Sony Pictures Television Networks will acquire a 95% majority stake of Funimation Productions for about $143 million.

Here is what was stated in the press release statement on Sony's main website:
Culver City, Calif., July 31, 2017 – Sony Pictures Television Networks has reached an agreement to acquire a substantial majority stake in Japanese anime distributor Funimation Productions, Ltd., ("Funimation"), subject to regulatory approvals and certain other closing conditions, valuing the company at approximately $150 million. Gen Fukunaga, CEO of Funimation, will retain a minority stake in the business and remain CEO.

With a catalog that includes popular titles such as "Dragon Ball Z", "Cowboy Bebop", "One Piece", "My Hero Academia" and "Attack on Titan", Funimation licenses and distributes Japanese anime content in the U.S., and operates the subscription streaming service FunimationNOW, available via the PlayStation Store, iTunes Store, Google Play, Amazon Apps, Xbox Store and mobile devices. Additionally, the company sells merchandise and DVDs through its website, Funimation.com.

"Around the world, Sony's networks have been major players in the anime space for nearly two decades, and in more recent years we have rapidly increased our networks' over-the-top and digital offerings to consumers. With the acquisition of Funimation, the combined IP of ANIMAX, KIDS STATION and Funimation allows us to deliver the best anime to fans across all screens and platforms," said Andy Kaplan, President, Worldwide Networks, Sony Pictures Television.

Funimation CEO Gen Fukunaga added, "With Funimation's long-established leadership position in anime and Sony's direct access to the creative pipeline in Japan, it will be a great partnership to take Funimation to the next level."

Outgoing Chairman of Funimation, John A Kuelbs, and lead investor, Doug Deason, said, "Funimation experienced tremendous growth and success since 2011. We believe Sony, Gen and his team are uniquely positioned to lead Funimation and its fans into an exciting and entertaining future."

Sony Pictures Television Networks' ANIMAX network is a multi-platform provider of Japanese anime content currently operating in 23 countries, including Japan.
Sony Pictures Television Networks operates established linear channel brands including AXN, Sony Channel, and ANIMAX, and digital brands including CRACKLE around the world, AXN Now in Europe and Asia, and Sony LIV in India.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor to Funimation along with Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP acting as exclusive legal advisor. Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP acted as legal advisor to Sony Pictures Television Networks.
Before there are any concers raised because of the Aniplex elephant in the room, it should noted that Sony Pictures TV =/= Sony Music, which is the branch of Sony Aniplex operates under. Sony Pictures TV acts mostly autonomously from Sony Music. Additionally, Aniplex USA is owned by Aniplex Japan, which is owned by Sony Music Entertainment Japan, not the US division of Sony Music Entertainment. So for anyone worrying about prices, keep in mind Sony Pictures US has released anime before, at prices similar to what the industry was charging on average. Don't expect any price changes. I mean, hell, FUNi's prices have remained largely the same since 2008/2009 (which further destroys the argument they're too high). But what this means for Aniplex licenses, FUNi pricing, the future of Texas dubbing, etc. is still up in the air as thing can always change. We'll just have to wait and see what Sony Pictures TV does with their new acquisition.

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Re: Sony To Acquire Majority Stake in Funimation

Post by dbgtFO » Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:53 am

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=34536&p=1357134#p1357134

A topic, that really fits the "non-thread-worthy" thread.

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Re: Sony To Acquire Majority Stake in Funimation

Post by Lord Beerus » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:13 am

Ah. Cheers, dbgtFO. :)

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Re: Sony To Acquire Majority Stake in Funimation

Post by sintzu » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:18 am

I don't think we have anything to worry about, Sony will most likely just let them keep doing what they're doing. If anything we could get even more anime cause Sony has more money to offer than just Funimation.
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Re: Sony To Acquire Majority Stake in Funimation

Post by Robo4900 » Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:37 am

Best case scenario: Sony have Funimation do better official releases in future.

Worst case scenario: Literally nothing changes.
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Re: Sony To Acquire Majority Stake in Funimation

Post by Chuquita » Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:46 am

I think the worst case scenario is they start charging higher prices for physical releases.

I can't imagine Sony poking their heads too much into Funi's goings on though.
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Re: Sony To Acquire Majority Stake in Funimation

Post by Theophrastus » Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:53 pm

I think my biggest concern about this is wondering what'll happen on the online streaming front. Like whether FunimationNow and Crackle will coexist or if one Sony-owned streaming service will eat the other one (I would assume Crackle would be the one to prevail in that case).

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Re: Sony To Acquire Majority Stake in Funimation

Post by SaiyanGod117 » Tue Aug 01, 2017 1:25 pm

To bad Universal pulled out the bid for buying Funimation, it would have been a lot better if they bought them instead. Sony is more of liability than a asset.

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Re: Sony To Acquire Majority Stake in Funimation

Post by Dragon Ball Ireland » Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:06 pm

I'm mainly hoping it means we will get some projects that Funimation on its own wouldn't have been willing to take a risk financially, like a redub of the original Dragon Ball Z (and Ball and GT if Z was successful).

It may also mean another live action movie becomes more likely. As Sony are working on the Robotech movie they may want to keep the ball rolling with the money they will be reeling in from Dragon Ball and other popular anime titles.
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Re: Sony To Acquire Majority Stake in Funimation

Post by SupremeSSJ » Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:25 pm

I'm not highly educated in this type of stuff but the worst case that I can think of is price hikes and nothing changing. The good I think will come is better production and more anime??

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Re: Sony To Acquire Majority Stake in Funimation

Post by Chuquita » Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:42 pm

Toriyama got burned so heavily from the live action movie that I can't see him ever agreeing to another one. Also I think Fox still has the rights to that, so Sony couldn't do it if they wanted. It's like those few leftover in limbo Marvel properties that aren't owned by Disney (yet?), but by other movie studios.
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Re: Sony To Acquire Majority Stake in Funimation

Post by sintzu » Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:15 pm

Chuquita wrote:Toriyama got burned so heavily from the live action movie that I can't see him ever agreeing to another one.
I don't think it's up to him, it's up to Shuisha. With how successful the anime is now, an animated movie is far more likely.
SaiyanGod117 wrote:To bad Universal pulled out the bid for buying Funimation, it would have been a lot better if they bought them instead. Sony is more of liability than a asset.
I'm more comfortable with a Japanese studio working with them cause everything they do is Japanese related. If a Hollywood Western company like universal picked them up there'd be a risk of them trying to censor things or outright dropping shows to not offend SJWs.
Last edited by sintzu on Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sony To Acquire Majority Stake in Funimation

Post by Hellspawn28 » Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:17 pm

Giving how DBE bomb at the box office, I would imagine that Fox lost the live action rights to the Dragon Ball series. I also doubt that Sony is going to make live action movies based on the popular anime that Funimation owns. Let's not get too carry away just let.

I don't think much would change with Sony owning Funimation since Funimation said that Sony is not going to affect their subs, dubs and home video releases. At least we can get the 2001 Cyborg 009 TV series on DVD maybe.
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Re: Sony To Acquire Majority Stake in Funimation

Post by KBABZ » Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:53 pm

Robo4900 wrote:Worst case scenario: Literally nothing changes.
No the worst case scenario is that Sony rings up Funimation to say "Hey, guys, we loved what you did from 1996 to 2007..."

I don't think a live-action movie is any more likely because Funimation would only have the distribution rights to the anime series (and specific series of Dragon Ball one-by-one, of course), not a live-action film production. I was however thinking about whether Funimation would ever be bold enough to have a crack at Kai-ing the original Dragon Ball rather than Toei doing the footage remaster themselves (-looks at TFC-).

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Re: Sony To Acquire Majority Stake in Funimation

Post by ShadowBardock89 » Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:10 pm

So, I don't about you guys but now I'm terrified.
I know this is not Dragon Ball related but it mean signs of things to come with Sony buying Funimation:
http://www.onepiecepodcast.com/2017/07/ ... ies-works/
Should this get off the ground and Sony backs it (thanks to licensing and distribution rights bought from FUnimation), we could see MORE things like this in the near future released in the Angloshpere.
Who knows? Fox still has the film rights for the Dragon Ball franchise, right? Would Fox take another crack at a live action adaption of Dragon Ball if there was seemingly a demand?
And what about distribution? Would the rest of Sony platforms such as Playstation get exclusive releases because of this? What about Funimation's deal with Crunchyroll?
So many questions...
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Re: Sony To Acquire Majority Stake in Funimation

Post by SaiyanGod117 » Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:12 pm

sintzu wrote: I'm more comfortable with a Japanese studio working with them cause everything they do is Japanese related. If a Hollywood Western company like universal picked them up there'd be a risk of them trying to censor things or outright dropping shows to not offend SJWs.
You have a point there, but Universal doesn't really adhere to SJW or feminist. Not to mention, they're a much more stable company than Sony, and still very active in the home video market. Plus they already had a distribution agreement with Funimation, might as well went all the way. Not only that, but they have an enormous reach and good perception amongst the public about their brand. Funimation being bought by a Japanese company seems irrelevant to me. If that Japanese company has shown a track record of bad leadership, poor business choices, inconsistent product reception, and history of bankruptcies. It honestly would have been better if Funimation stayed a independent company, they were doing quite well for themselves and Sony alreadys own Aniplex and Animax them buying Funimation seems redundant.

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Re: Sony To Acquire Majority Stake in Funimation

Post by MyStIc GoTeNkS » Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:47 pm

I hope this means we'll get the english dub on the online streaming services now

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Re: Sony To Acquire Majority Stake in Funimation

Post by Theophrastus » Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:54 pm

FAQ is up on Funimation's blog:
https://www.funimation.com/blog/2017/08 ... -networks/

Basically they're saying that nothing will change, at least in the short term.

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Re: Sony To Acquire Majority Stake in Funimation

Post by SaiyanGod117 » Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:08 pm

Theophrastus wrote:FAQ is up on Funimation's blog:
https://www.funimation.com/blog/2017/08 ... -networks/

Basically they're saying that nothing will change, at least in the short term.
Which was pretty much contradicted by Sony's management team.
https://www.google.com/amp/www.hollywoo ... or-1025699


"We have IP across Funimation, Aniplex, Animax and the PlayStation platform, the challenge is to connect them all organically," said chief financial officer (CFO) Kenichiro Yoshida during Sony's earnings announcement at its Tokyo headquarters. "CEO [Kaz] Hirai is taking stock of all the IP in the group and the PS4 will be at the center."


They can say that nothing is going to change, but in-reality they don't have a say in anything anymore.

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Re: Sony To Acquire Majority Stake in Funimation

Post by WittyUsername » Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:36 pm

sintzu wrote: I'm more comfortable with a Japanese studio working with them cause everything they do is Japanese related. If a Hollywood Western company like universal picked them up there'd be a risk of them trying to censor things or outright dropping shows to not offend SJWs.
I don't really see how you're coming to that conclusion.

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