The Australian-based anime and niche movie distributor Madman is being merged into Sony's Funimation division as part of a new joint venture, according to a report on Wednesday morning.
In an exclusive with the entertainment site Variety, Sony Pictures Chairman Mike Hopkins said the joint venture, which would see Funimation distribute anime from Japan through the United States, France and Australia (the latter through Animelab), would help grow Sony's "global reach and expertise in VOD, theatrical, home video, merchandising, events and more". The consolidated group will not be consolidating the individual services, however, so Madman's name and their AnimeLab streaming service should continue operating as normal.
The first project will be the distribution of the Fate/Grand Order series, Fate/Grand Order Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia, which will air exclusively on FunimationNow, and AnimeLab for 30 days exclusivity, with an extra one-year exclusivity on the dubbed version.
"It just became clear when we looked at the global view of anime at Sony, these things should really be together," Colin Decker, the general manager of Funimation and the new head of the three anime joint venture, said.