Deadline: Sony Trades Crackle Stake to Chicken Soup For The Soul Entertainment for Stock
posted on by Alex Mateo
Entertainment news website Deadline reported on Tuesday that Sony has traded its minority stake of streaming service Crackle to Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment (CSSE) for US$40 million of preferred CSSE stock. CSSE will fully control the Crackle Plus networks of video on demand services. CSSE has the right to pay cash instead of some or all of the preferred stock for the next 30 days.
In May 2019, Sony Pictures Television sold its majority stake of Crackle to Chicken Soup, but it still retained a minority stake.
Crackle has previously streamed anime on a free ad-supported streaming website.
The anime streaming service Crunchyroll announced on December 9 that Sony's Funimation Global Group will acquire Crunchyroll. Funimation's website also confirmed the acquisition. Sony reports that the purchase price is US$1.175 billion, to be paid in cash at closing. None of the companies have provided any further details about the acquisition, and the deal is still awaiting regulatory approvals and other conditions.
Sony Pictures Television and Aniplex consolidated three Sony-owned anime acquisition and distribution companies — Funimation based in the United States, Wakanim based in France, and Madman Anime Group based in Australia — into one joint venture in September 2019. Sony Pictures Television Networks acquired a majority stake in Funimation for US$143 million in 2017. Funimation ended its content-sharing partnership with Crunchyroll in November 2018, and then signed a first-look streaming deal with Hulu in December 2018.
In addition to Funimation, Sony owns the subsidiary anime production companies A-1 Pictures and CloverWorks through Aniplex.
Source: Deadline (Dade Hayes)