Adult Swim And Crunchyroll Team On Programming, Expand Distribution Deal

Crunchyroll/Adult Swim

Two of WarnerMedia’s closely aligned assets, Adult Swim and Crunchyroll, are deepening their ties with an expanded distribution deal and a new partnership for programming.

The partnership makes Crunchyroll a premiere content partner for Toonami, the anime programming block that airs Saturday nights on Adult Swim. The two companies will collaborate on licensed content, co-productions and distribution opportunities.

Crunchyroll, which was founded in 2006, had been controlled since 2014 by Otter Media and became a fully owned WarnerMedia subsidiary along with the rest of Otter’s digital portfolio last year. Adult Swim launched in 2001 as a nighttime programming block on Cartoon Network before expanding to a separately distributed network years later.

Both assets are among the WarnerMedia holdings being reshuffled under a sweeping reorganization announced this month by John Stankey. Warner Bros. chairman Kevin Tsujihara now oversees a portfolio of kids and young-adult brands, including Adult Swim and the former Otter properties.

“Our partnership with Crunchyroll will open up exciting new possibilities for both of us,” Jason DeMarco, SVP and creative director for on-air at Adult Swim, said in the official announcement. “This will expand Toonami’s already great programming to include even more premiere and original anime. It’s a great time to be an anime fan!”

“Our mission is to grow anime globally, which makes Adult Swim the perfect partner as Toonami has been incredibly influential in the growth of anime here in the U.S.,” Crunchyroll GM Joanne Waage said. “We can’t wait to show our fans what we have in store for them through this new programming partnership. Expect new co-productions, expanded distribution of dubs, and generally more accessible anime!”

Adult Swim and Crunchyroll previously joined forces for Blade Runner – Black Lotus, a new anime series, and a co-production with Alcon Television Group based on the feature film Blade Runner 2049. The English dubbed episodes will premiere on Toonami and Crunchyroll will handle worldwide streaming. Crunchyroll and Adult Swim worked together last year to bring Mob Psycho 100 to the Toonami block.

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