AMC Networks’ HIDIVE Anime Streamer Gets Exclusive Rights to Japan’s MBS Programming Slate (EXCLUSIVE)

AMC Networks’ Sentai Filmworks unit reached an agreement with Japan’s Mainichi Broadcasting System (MBS) that provides exclusive rights for AMC’s anime-focused HIDIVE streaming service to distribute part of MBS’s future programming lineup in all global markets outside of Asia.

The pact is Sentai’s biggest-ever deal for anime content, according to the company. The output deal encompasses MBS’s programming slate based on a collection of popular manga and light novel titles. All of the shows will be available exclusively on HIDIVE outside of Asia.

More from Variety

Among the shows covered in the Sentai-MBS output is “The Most Heretical Last Boss Queen: From Villainess to Savior” (pictured above). The new show, scheduled to premiere in July 2023, is a 12-episode series based on hit fantasy light novel by Tenichi and published by Ichijinsha. The series is being directed by Norio Nitta and written by Deko Akao with animation by OLM.

MBS’s slate of shows also includes the winter 2023 simulcast series “Endo and Kobayashi Live! The Latest on Tsundere Villainess Lieselotte,” which HIDIVE announced it would stream at the Anime NYC convention in November. Additional titles covered under the pact will be announced in the future.

AMC Networks announced the acquisition of Sentai and its HIDIVE service in January 2022. HIDIVE, whose main competitor is Sony’s Crunchyroll, costs $4.99 per month or $47.99 per year. HIDIVE is available via a direct paid subscription as well as Amazon’s Prime Video Channels and the Roku Channel; the company says it the service offers more than 500 titles.

“This is a truly historic agreement for HIDIVE and is the culmination of our partnership with MBS,” said John Ledford, president of Sentai Filmworks and HIDIVE, in a statement. “‘The Most Heretical Last Boss Queen: From Villainess to Savior’ and the other series will significantly elevate HIDIVE’s reputation with fans as not only the new go-to anime streaming platform but also as the pipeline to some of Japan’s most highly anticipated titles.”

Shinji Nakano, director of Mainichi Broadcasting System, added, “In recent years, anime has become a solid representative of Japanese culture and has gained fans all over the world. We are pleased to partner with Sentai Filmworks, HIDIVE and AMC Networks, a group that plays a huge part in this effort to further expand anime culture.”

Osaka-based MBS has been co-producing and broadcasting anime for more than half a century. The broadcaster is the TV home to numerous global hit anime franchises like “Attack on Titan,” “Full Metal Alchemist” and “Jujutsu Kaisen.” In addition to co-producing those and many other series, MBS was a co-producer of “Akira,” seen as one of the most influential anime films of all time.

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Click here to read the full article.