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Funimation Acquires U.K. Anime Distributor Manga Entertainment

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
FunimationNow adds anime for streaming in U.K., Ireland in coming months

Funimation announced on Wednesday that it has acquired Manga Entertainment Limited, an anime distributor in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The announcement describes Manga Entertainment, based in London, as a "long-term partner of Funimation." Manga Entertainment offers anime on DVD and Blu-ray Disc, via broadcast, and through theatrical and digital releases.

Manga Entertainment is immediately consolidating Funimation's U.K. business to become the largest distributor of anime DVDs and Blu-ray Discs in the U.K. and Ireland. The Funimation subsidiary is offering more than 900 hours of subtitled and dubbed content, and most of the titles will be available streaming in the U.K. and Ireland on FunimationNow in the coming months. Some titles will be available in the region for the first time.

The following titles are immediately available through FunimationNow in the United Kingdom and Ireland:

FunimationNow is available in the U.K. and Ireland as a Premium Plus subscription on either a monthly (£4.99) or annual plan (£49.99) basis.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Funimation. The Texas-based company offers anime through streaming, home video releases, and theatrical and broadcast distribution. Funimation's catalog includes more than 600 titles. The FunimationNow streaming service is available in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.

Colin Decker became the new general manager of Funimation earlier this month. Funimation founder, president, and CEO Gen Fukunaga stepped down from the position in February but continues to serve in an advisory capacity.

During the AnimeJapan 2019 event in March, Funimation and Chinese streaming platform bilibili announced a new partnership to jointly acquire anime licenses "over the next few years." In addition to streaming, bilibili also runs several games in Chinese, including Fate/Grand Order since 2016.

Sony Pictures Television acquired a majority stake in Funimation in 2017, at which time Fukunaga retained his general manager position and a minority stake in the business. As a result of the acquisition, Funimation ended its content-sharing partnership with Crunchyroll last November. Funimation signed a first-look streaming deal with Hulu last December.

In addition to Funimation and Animax, Sony owns the subsidiary anime production companies A-1 Pictures and CloverWorks through Aniplex. Australian film distributor Madman Entertainment sold its anime division to Aniplex in February. Aniplex established a Shanghai-based subsidiary in April with the intent of starting on "full-scale" Chinese animation production, as well as sell merchandise.

Source: Press release

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