Entertainment company AMC Networks acquired Sentai Holdings. Sentai Holdings is the parent company of Sentai Filmworks, a U.S. anime distributor and owner of the HIDIVE streaming service. It also owns the Anime Network cable video service and Sentai Studios, a localization and dubbing studio that services Sentai Filmworks-licensed properties. The move was finalized on January 5, 2022 and announced the same day, according to a report in The Hollywood Reporter.
AMC Networks (not to be confused with the cinema chain AMC Theatres) is itself a major entertainment company, holding the U.S. rights for services like BBC America, IFC, SundanceTV, WE tv, and Shudder. It also owns the cable channel AMC, the home channel of series like The Walking Dead, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad.
The move signals AMC’s intent to add Sentai and HIDIVE’s catalog of anime series and films to its stable. Japanese anime has become a field for entertainment companies to target as they compete for audiences. Companies like Netflix , Amazon, have bought exclusive rights to anime series, as well as co-produced original content for their own catalogs. Other companies with a foot in the anime space have also consolidated, such as with Sony’s full acquisition of Crunchyroll.
As a streaming service, HIDIVE has distinguished itself by carrying older and more niche series in addition to seasonal offerings. Shows like Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Joshiraku, Girls und Panzer, and Made in Abyss call HIDIVE home in the U.S.
Neither Sentai nor AMC elaborated on their immediate plans following the acquisition, nor did they disclose the financial terms of the deal.
Sentai Filmworks-licensed anime are available streaming on HIDIVE and for sale in digital and physical outlets.