AT&T Is in Talks to Sell Crunchyroll to Sony for $1.5 Billion

There is no denying that Crunchyroll is a cornerstone in the world of anime and manga. The site boasts millions of users around the world, and it hosts many of the industry's leading shows. As of right now, the brand is nestled under AT&T as part of WarnerMedia, but a new report suggests the company hopes to sell the anime leader to Sony.

The information comes from The Information who exclusively reports the deal is far from certain. AT&T approached Sony about the deal to sell Crunchyroll, and it was a smart move to do so. After all, Sony does own Funimation which is widely considered the largest anime licensor in the United States. The only issue comes down to cost now.

As the report goes, AT&T is asking for a whopping $1.5 billion for Crunchyroll. This price made Sony balk according to sources as analysts say the asking price is far above any other niche streaming service. But given anime's popularity growing in the West, the deal hasn't been shut down entirely by Sony.

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It is difficult to ignore the strides anime has taken in the United States and globally as of late. Netflix and Amazon have taken great interest in anime, and there are other sites such as Hulu streaming Japanese series. Shows like My Hero Academia and Dragon Ball Super continue to rope in millions of fans, and Sony knows this given its oversight of Funimation.

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Of course, there is the question of why AT&T wants to offload the brand, and that answer comes down to debt. WarnerMedia does have significant debt to its name to the tune of $151 billion. And while the CEO of WarnerMedia Jason Kilar is a fan of Crunchyroll, he admits a sale could go down if the right price is attached.

What do you make of this sales rumor? Is it time for Crunchyroll to join Sony and leave WarnerMedia behind? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!