After two years of what seemed to be an unlikely partnership, North American anime distributor Funimation is ending its content licensing agreement with streaming service Crunchyroll on November 9.
Streaming bundle service VRV also announced that it will replace Funimation with HIDIVE on the said date. VRV and Crunchyroll are both owned by Ellation.
Funimation president and chief executive officer Gen Fukunaga says in a memo to the company’s staff that the move “is a result of our acquisition by Sony Pictures Television and additional investments Sony is making in our business to make Funimation a global sub and dub anime brand.”
Starting November 9, FunimationNow subscribers will be able to access “several hundred” subtitled anime titles but will lose access to a “handful” of English-dubbed titles.
In a separate statement, Crunchyroll says a number of its titles which were licensed through Funimation will no longer be available on its streaming service from the said date.
FunimationNow and Crunchyroll subscribers can still view titles that were acquired during the two-year partnership.
The two companies announced their partnership back in September 2016. Funimation‘s English-subbed anime lineup were transferred to Crunchyroll as part of the deal, effectively making the Funimation streaming service exclusively cater to English-dubbed anime.
The agreement also covered licensing of new anime titles for simulcast streaming.