Chernin Group buys anime streaming site

Peter Chernin’s media investment group has acquired a majority stake in anime streaming platform Crunchyroll.

CrunchyrollThe deal, for an undisclosed amount, will see The Chernin Group take control of San Francisco-based Crunchyroll (left), which counts Japanese broadcaster TV Tokyo as its other major outside investor.

Crunchyroll’s senior management team will retain to retain a “significant” stake following the Chernin deal.

The company was founded in 2007 and has satellite offices in Tokyo and LA. It has built a large content library of Japanese anime programming from studios and broadcasters, which it offers through SVOD and OTT platforms.

All in all, it has about 25,000 episodes and 15,000 hours of programming and operates in 160 territories.

Currently, Crunchyroll is available through devices including iPad, iPhone, Playstation 4, Apple TV, Roku, and Xbox One. The firm claims to have doubled its subscriber base in the past year, but has not broken out exact numbers.

“The Crunchyroll founders and senior management team have accomplished two incredible things. One, they have built one of the leading online video companies in the industry. And, two they have created the best and largest community for anime video in the world,” Chernin, the former News Corp. president (pictured below).

Peter Chernin“Our plan is to continue to grow the anime vertical as well as launch new channels in different genres. Online video is growing faster than any other sector within media, and we feel that with Crunchyroll, we have a fantastic, anchor platform.”

The Chernin Group already has a majority stake in Asian graphic novel and content studio Graphic India through its CA Media subsidiary and has stakes in emerging media firms such as Pandora, Fullscreen, Base79, MiTú, Tumblr, Flipboard and Scopely. It also operates Chernin Entertainment, the TV and film producer that counts Fox sitcom New Girl among its credits.

Crunchyroll’s founder and CEO Kun Gao said he had partnered with Chernin “based on their passion for the online video space, expertise in media, understanding of creative content and strong track-record of growing businesses”.

“This investment from TCG will allow us to provide an even better experience and service for anime producers and fans worldwide,” he added.

Yukio Kawasaki, general manager of TV Tokyo’s animation division said his company had been a strategic investor and content provider to the platform since 2009 and added: “We welcome The Chernin Group to the Crunchyroll family and look forward to working with them and Crunchyroll management to continue this fantastic ride.”