Sony Pictures is in the process of acquiring 95 percent of Funimation for $143 million. Funimation launched a website this very year which features more than 400 animation series titles including Dragon Ball Z, Cowboy Bebop, One Piece and Attack on Titan. It has also been selling merchandise and anime DVDs for over 20 years now.
The venture in the animation featuring is nothing new for Sony and it is the company behind ANIMAX which airs anime in more than 20 countries worldwide. It also owns once widely famous cable TV channel, AXN. The channel features mostly sports program and action shows.
Sony Pictures Television President Andy Kaplan said, "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."
Sony will become a direct competitor to Netflix and Hulu after the acquisition of Funimation. Although, the latter has a lot of shows and original series available for viewers which include anime as well.
Its a tough nut for Sony to crack and Netflix has seen an exponential growth in past few months. Sony can certainly create an impact among Asian viewers who are only getting to know about Netflix especially in India and its neighboring countries.