AMC Networks Acquires Anime Specialist Sentai Holdings

AMC Networks Acquires Anime Specialist Sentai Holdings

January 5, 2022

AMC Networks has acquires Houston-based Sentai Holdings, which supplies anime content and merchandise and also operates the Hidive direct-to-consumer streaming service.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The transaction encompasses all of the member interests from Cool Japan Fund, a public-private Japanese investment fund.

Under interim CEO Matt Blank, AMC Networks is continuing to purse a niche streaming strategy. The company expects to to have 20 million to 25 million total subscribers across its portfolio of targeted offerings, among them Sundance Now, Acorn TV and Shudder, by 2025. By then, the company says, most of its revenue will come from streaming as opposed to the longtime traditional base of the pay-TV bundle.

Sentai’s library titles are available on platforms like Crunchyroll, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. The anime audience, as AT&T’s recent sale of Crunchyroll to Sony for $1.2 billion attests, is loyal and consumes content in volume.

Sentai is a “key global player,” Blank said in the official announcement, with “a seasoned team, strong content and direct-to-consumer offerings for fans around the world.”

In addition to building on its overall strategy, the deal will help AMC Networks “continue to grow a sustainable and long-term profitable streaming business that will be transformational for our company.”

Sentai founder John Ledford said the 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.”

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

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