Toku
TOKU channel logo.png
CountryUnited States
Broadcast areaNorthern America
HeadquartersWest Palm Beach, Florida
Programming
Language(s)English
Spanish (via SAP audio track)
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
Ownership
OwnerOlympusat
History
LaunchedDecember 31, 2015; 6 years ago (December 31, 2015)
ReplacedFunimation Channel
Links
Websitetokuhd.com

Toku (stylized in all capital letters) is an American pay television network and streaming service owned by Olympusat and dedicated to broadcasting anime and East Asian programming.[1]

Launched on December 31, 2015, replacing Funimation Channel, after Funimation ended their partnership with Olympusat. Tristan Leostar is the content aggregator for the network.

History

As Funimation Channel

Logo as Funimation Channel
Logo as Funimation Channel

Funimation Channel started out as a syndicated block on Colours TV, one of OlympuSAT's affiliate networks.[2] Programs during this era were Dragon Ball, Negima!, Kodocha, The Slayers, Blue Gender, Kiddy Grade, Fruits Basket, Case Closed and YuYu Hakusho. The block was later discontinued in favor of a more successful expansion on subscription television.

On May 1, 2008, Funimation Channel became a 24-hour English-dubbed anime subscription network; the second of its kind in North America (following A.D. Vision's Anime Network).[3] Olympusat was chosen as the exclusive distributor of Funimation Channel.[4] The service originally was available to a few cities via digital terrestrial television and was temporary-only as the channel was trying to gain a foothold in the already-crowded pay television landscape.

In May 2009, Funimation Channel continued its expansion on subscription providers launching on Comcast's VOD platform [5] and offering two services - Free on demand and PPV on demand. The PPV VOD offers viewers a chance to watch titles prior to their DVD release.[6]

As of September 27, 2010, Funimation launched an HD feed alongside existing VOD services.[7] On February 16, 2012, Verizon announced that it will drop Funimation Channel from its Verizon FiOS service "on, or after March 15" due to "very low viewership".[8] In response to reaction from its customers, Verizon returned Funimation Channel via VOD.[9] Channel 262 remains on the FiOS system operated by Frontier Communications in some ex-Verizon territories.[10] Cablevision's Optimum TV recently launched[11] FUNimation Channel On Demand in the NY/NJ/CT Tri-State area. Adding this MSO increased FUNimation Channel's footprint to over 40 million households nationwide.

Funimation Channel's programming came from Funimation, Aniplex of America, Viz Media, Sentai Filmworks, Right Stuf Inc., NIS America, Discotek Media, and the now-defunct Central Park Media and Enoki Films USA.

As Toku

On December 8, 2015, it was reported that the channel would change its name to Toku on December 31, 2015 and would start broadcasting live-action, grindhouse and independent East Asian movies.[12][13] It was subsequently announced, on December 15, 2015, that Funimation would end its partnership with Olympusat, and announced plans to relaunch Funimation Channel in 2016.[14]

On March 14, 2016, Olympusat announced a localized version of Toku in Latin America, named Toku Español.[15] However, as of 2022, the channel is yet to be launched in the region.

On July 25, 2016, it was announced that Toku was going to be launched in the FlixFling streaming service by early 2017, but to date, that never happened.[16] On June 8, 2017, it was announced that Toku is available on Amazon Channels as a streaming service for members of Amazon Prime, offering channel content on demand for US$4.00 per month, after a 7-day free trial.[17][18]

On August 23, 2017, Consolidated Communications added Toku on its channel line-up.[19]

On May 22, 2018, Toku launches a beta version of its new streaming service WatchTOKU.com for the United States and Canada, which includes channel content and future releases, as well as embedded forums. The service, powered by Vimeo, costs either US$4.00 per month or US$40.00 per year. This is Toku's official debut outside the United States, being available for the first time in Canada.[20]

Toku's programming comes from Media Blasters, Tsuburaya Productions, MonoFilm Sales and other anime and movie licensors.

Availability

The linear channel is available on AT&T U-verse,[21][22] Claro Puerto Rico, Hotwire Communications, Consolidated Communications, Sjobergs Inc., IFiber Communications and OptiLink; its HD feed has been available since the network's launch in 2015.[23] The linear channel was previously available on Verizon FiOS.

The VOD service is available on Optimum,[24] Xfinity, Vubiquity, Frontier FiOS and Armstrong.[25] The VOD service was previously available on Charter Communications and Massilion.[26]

The channel is available in streaming through its WatchToku.com streaming service, as well as its Amazon Prime channel. It was formerly available on Go90.

Programming

Anime series

Current

Upcoming

Former

Live-action drama series

Upcoming

Anime films

Live-action films

OVAs

References

  1. ^ "TV Listings & Channel Guide | AT&T U-verse". Uverse.com. Retrieved May 6, 2016.
  2. ^ "Navarres Funimation Entertainment doubles anime programming for syndicated anime block". RedOrbit. September 7, 2006. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
  3. ^ "Funimation Entertainment announces the launch of the Funimation Channel in Seattle". Mania. December 20, 2006. Archived from the original on January 23, 2015. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
  4. ^ "Navarre's Funimation Entertainment and Verizon sign distribution agreement". Navarre. September 29, 2005. Archived from the original on November 17, 2006. Retrieved June 17, 2006.
  5. ^ "Funimation anime on demand now on Comcast Nationwide". Anime News Network. May 5, 2009. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
  6. ^ "PR Newswire". Retrieved April 21, 2013.
  7. ^ "Funimation Channel goes high-definition". Anime News Network. September 7, 2010. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
  8. ^ "Verizon drops Funimation Channel from FiOS service". February 16, 2012. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
  9. ^ "Olympusat's Funimation Channel now available on Verizon FiOS TV video on demand". Retrieved May 8, 2012.
  10. ^ Frontier FiOS TV channel lineup
  11. ^ "Olympusat's FUNimation Channel Launches SVOD Package On Optimum TV". Prweb.com. December 21, 2012. Retrieved May 6, 2016.
  12. ^ "Funimation Channel changing its name". The Fandom Post. December 8, 2015. Retrieved December 8, 2015.
  13. ^ "Guides & types of programming". Retrieved December 8, 2015.
  14. ^ "Funimation Channel to relaunch in 2016". Anime News Network. December 15, 2015. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
  15. ^ "Toku en español: Nuevo canal llega a Latinoamérica". ANMTV. March 14, 2016. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  16. ^ "Flixfling partners with Olympusat to launch its first ever lineup of premium Spanish-language channels". Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  17. ^ "Toku is now available for Amazon Prime members". Olympusat Inc. June 8, 2017. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  18. ^ "Toku opens streaming channel on Amazon Prime". Anime News Network. June 8, 2017. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  19. ^ "Okympusat's Toku launches on Consolidated Communications". Olympusat Inc. September 8, 2017. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
  20. ^ "TOKU airs Ultraman Mebius spin-offs, launches streaming website beta". Anime News Network. May 24, 2018. Retrieved May 27, 2018.
  21. ^ "Operators". Funimation Channel. October 7, 2009. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
  22. ^ "Choice Cable TV" (PDF). Retrieved April 21, 2013.
  23. ^ "Funimation Channel launches on AT&T U-verse in high-definition". Anime News Network. September 30, 2010. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
  24. ^ "Under Maintenance". Optimum.com. Retrieved May 6, 2016.
  25. ^ "Armstrong Cable - Funimation Channel". Retrieved December 1, 2011.
  26. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 5, 2011. Retrieved February 1, 2011.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  27. ^ Antonio Pineda, Rafael (November 2, 2020). "Toku HD Adds Kamen Rider Agito Series". Anime News Network. Retrieved November 2, 2020.