AMC is joining the race for anime content after announcing it has acquired the anime distributor Sentai and its anime streaming service HIDIVE.
The company, led by interim CEO Matt Blank, unveiled the news after the market closed on Wednesday, but didn’t disclose financial terms. The deal includes Sentai’s holdings of Cool Japan Fund, a Japanese public-private investment fund.
Sentai is a global supplier of anime content and merchandise. Its brands include the anime-focused HIDIVE subscription streaming service. Sentai’s brands also include e-commerce platform Sentai Filmworks, cable SVOD service Anime Network and Sentai Studios, which provides localization and studio services.
“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,” stated AMC.
AMC also commented, “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.”
AMC Networks Interim CEO Matt Blank said, “With a seasoned team, strong content and direct-to-consumer oﬀerings for fans around the world, Sentai is a key global player in anime. 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.”
Sentai’s executive management team of founder John Ledford, Griﬃn Vance, and Paul Clinkscales will continue on in senior roles. Ledford 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 content library includes thousands of hours of popular titles and classic series including 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-.
AMC is primarily known for its prestige dramas like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, and The Walking Dead. Alongside horror-focused streaming platform Shudder, AMC is amassing a varied collection of services, which anime will fit into.