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AMC Networks acquires Sentai Holdings, Sentai Filmworks, HIDIVE

Old 01-05-22, 04:56 PM
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AMC Networks acquires Sentai Holdings, Sentai Filmworks, HIDIVE

https://variety.com/2022/tv/news/amc...ve-1235147279/
AMC Networks Acquires ‘Made in Abyss’ Distributor Sentai and Anime Streamer HIDIVE

AMC Networks has acquired Cool Japan Fund’s anime content distributor Sentai and its assets, including niche subscription streaming service HIDIVE.

Sentai’s anime-centric direct-to-consumer platform will join AMC Networks’ lineup of targeted streaming services, which includes AMC Plus, Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now and ALLBLK.

Those digital offerings are in addition to the company’s linear channels AMC, BBC America (a joint venture with BBC Studios), IFC, SundanceTV, WE tv and IFC Films.

Per AMC Networks, “With strong industry relationships and access to key content creators in Japan, Sentai distributes and curates one of the anime industry’s most diverse libraries of top trending and classic titles, with its content available on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Amazon Prime, among others.”

Japanese anime is a hot commodity these days, with major players like Sony Pictures Entertainment recently loading up on assets in the genre, one that has a large and vocal global fanbase and convention culture. Sony’s Funimation group closed its $1.175 billion cash purchase of anime business Crunchyroll from AT&T last August.

Aside from HIDIVE, Sentai’s brands include SentaiFilmworks.com, Anime Network and Sentai Studios. Among Sentai’s large catalogue of anime titles are “MADE IN ABYSS,” “Akame ga Kill,” “Food Wars!,” “Clannad,” “Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?,” “High School of the Dead,” “Girls & Panzer,” “No Game No Life,” “K-On!,” “Assassin’s Pride” and “Parasyte -the maxim-.”

Along with its announcement of the Sentai-HIDIVE acquisition, AMC Networks said Wednesday it expects to reach between 20 million to 25 million paid subscribers across its streaming services by 2025. The company had previously estimated it would hit a combined nine million paid subs by the end of 2021, but has not yet confirmed if it reached that goal.

Sentai’s executive management team of founder John Ledford and Griffin Vance and Paul Clinkscales will continue on in senior roles as the brand moves under AMC Networks. The company’s purchase of Sentai includes all of the anime distributor’s member interests from its former parent company, Japanese investment fund Cool Japan Fund.

“With a seasoned team, strong content and direct-to-consumer offerings for fans around the world, Sentai is a key global player in anime,” AMC Networks interim CEO Matt Blank said. “This acquisition builds on AMC Networks’ already strong IP and franchises, and furthers our targeted streaming strategy of super-serving passionate audiences with content depth, curation and community.”

Ledford added: “We are thrilled by AMC Networks’ acquisition and are excited to be a part of their growth strategy. This acquisition will not change Sentai’s mission to deliver the most exciting anime content to audiences around the world — it will expand it greatly and will give our content businesses more distribution, more partnerships, more scale and more reach. I could not be more pleased.”
https://www.amcnetworks.com/press-re...atform-hidive/
AMC NETWORKS ACQUIRES LEADING GLOBAL ANIME DISTRIBUTOR SENTAI, INCLUDING DIRECT-TO-CONSUMER ANIME PLATFORM HIDIVE

Acquisition Extends AMC Networks’ Position as the Global Leader in Targeted Streaming, with an Expanding Array of Services that Super-Serve Passionate Fans

New York, NY (January 5, 2022) – AMC Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: AMCX) announced today it has completed the acquisition of Houston-based Sentai Holdings, LLC (“Sentai”), a leading global supplier of anime content and official anime merchandise, with brands including the anime-focused HIDIVE direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service. The acquisition includes all of the member interests from Cool Japan Fund, Inc., a public-private Japanese investment fund.

With strong industry relationships and access to key content creators in Japan, Sentai distributes and curates one of the anime industry’s most diverse libraries of top trending and classic titles, with its content available on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Amazon Prime, among others. Sentai’s HIDIVE streaming service represents a strong new addition to AMC Networks’ portfolio of fast-growing targeted offerings, which includes AMC+, Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now and ALLBLK. AMC Networks, the global leader in targeted streaming, has forecast its targeted streaming portfolio will have exceeded nine million paid subscribers by year-end 2021, with 20-25 million paid subscribers by 2025.

Japanese anime is a rapidly growing entertainment category, with a highly-engaged global fanbase propelled by its unique aesthetics and evangelical fans, convention culture and increased online accessibility.

“With a seasoned team, strong content and direct-to-consumer offerings for fans around the world, Sentai is a key global player in anime,” said AMC Networks Interim CEO Matt Blank. “This acquisition builds on AMC Networks’ already strong IP and franchises, and furthers our targeted streaming strategy of super-serving passionate audiences with content depth, curation and community. With the addition of Sentai, we see an even greater opportunity to build on AMC Networks’ position as the global leader in targeted streaming, as we continue to grow a sustainable and long-term profitable streaming business that will be transformational for our company.”

John Ledford, Sentai’s Founder stated, “We are thrilled by AMC Networks’ acquisition and are excited to be a part of their growth strategy. This acquisition will not change Sentai’s mission to deliver the most exciting anime content to audiences around the world — it will expand it greatly and will give our content businesses more distribution, more partnerships, more scale and more reach. I could not be more pleased.”

Sentai’s executive management team of Ledford, Griffin Vance, and Paul Clinkscales, will continue on in senior roles.

PwC Advisory LLC acted as financial advisor, Arnold & Porter and Shiomizaka acted as legal counsel, KPMG FAS Co., Ltd. acted as financial advisor, KPMG Tax Corporation acted as tax advisor, and A.T. Kearney K.K. acted as Strategic advisory to Cool Japan Fund, Inc. in connection with the transaction. Paul Clinkscales led the transaction for Sentai. Hughes Hubbard & Reed acted as legal counsel to AMC Networks.

Last edited by WTK; 01-05-22 at 05:02 PM.
Old 01-05-22, 05:01 PM
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Re: AMC Networks acquires Sentai Holdings, Sentai Filmworks, HIDIVE

Huh. I just subscribed to HiDIVE for the first time because of the end of year deal, too.
Old 01-05-22, 05:48 PM
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Re: AMC Networks acquires Sentai Holdings, Sentai Filmworks, HIDIVE

It's very hard to compete in this space right now. They're behind Funimation (along with Crunchyroll) and Netflix when it comes new simulcasts. This season Sentai only has 2 new simulcasts (so far). Disney is coming back to anime (we may see something new titles this spring on Disney+). WarnerMedia is in transition stage right now (still have upcoming titles: Shenmue with Crunchyroll and Uzumaki).
Old 01-05-22, 08:09 PM
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Re: AMC Networks acquires Sentai Holdings, Sentai Filmworks, HIDIVE

This was unexpected, I hope this turns out to allow Sentai to dub more of its past releases and license more titles each year. I would normally be alarmed by this type of news but when I think of it, Netflix has been licensing animes the past few years and this could get Sentais titles on tv more
Old 01-06-22, 12:23 PM
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Re: AMC Networks acquires Sentai Holdings, Sentai Filmworks, HIDIVE

HIDIVE doesn't get many simulcasts, but usually have a couple exclusives each season. For me, the biggest draw is they have a lot of OVAs and Movies from popular shows. I've always been disappointed that Crunchyroll didn't license that stuff.

I hope all these niche services will eventually be bundled. It would be great to have AMC, HIDIVE, Shudder and Acorn all in the same interface. They're kinda doing it with AMC+, but it needs a lot of work.

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