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. Formerly known as Funimation Channel, it adopted its current name on December 31, 2015, after Funimation ended their partnership with Olympusat. Tristan Leostar is the content aggregator for the network.
As Funimation Channel
Funimation Channel started out as a syndicated block on Colours TV, one of OlympuSAT's affiliate networks. Programs during this era were Dragon Ball, Negima!, Kodocha, The Slayers, Blue Gender, Kiddy Grade, Fruits Basket, Case Closed and Yu Yu Hakusho. The block was later discontinued in favor of a more successful expansion on subscription television. On 1 May 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). Olympusat was chosen as the exclusive distributor of Funimation Channel. 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 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. Movies and packaged specials were available at US$3.00 each while episodes are available at US$1.00 each. As of 27 September 2010, Funimation launched an HD feed alongside existing VOD services. On 16 February 2012, Verizon announced that it will drop Funimation Channel and Bridges TV from its Verizon FiOS service "on, or after 15 March" due to "very low viewership". In response to reaction from its customers, Verizon returned Funimation Channel via VOD. Channel 262 remains on the FiOS system operated by Frontier Communications in some ex-Verizon territories.Frontier FiOS TV channel lineup Cablevision's Optimum TV recently launched 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, Right Stuf Inc., NIS America, and the now-defunct Central Park Media and Enoki Films USA. Program Block on Cartoon Network (TBA)
On 8 December 2015, it was reported that the channel would change its name to Toku on 31 December 2015 and would start broadcasting live-action, grindhouse and independent East Asian movies. It was subsequently announced, on 15 December 2015, that Funimation would end its partnership with Olympusat and relaunch Funimation Channel as a digital streaming service in January 2016. On 14 March 2016, Olympusat announced a localised version of Toku in Latin America, named Toku EspaÃ±ol. However, as of March 2020, the channel is yet to be launched in the region. On 25 July 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. On 8 June 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. On 23 August 2017, Consolidated Communications added Toku on its channel line-up. On 22 May 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. Toku's programming comes from Media Blasters, Tsuburaya Productions, MonoFilm Sales and other anime and movie licensors.
The linear channel is available on AT&T U-verse, Claro Puerto Rico, Hotwire Communications, Consolidated Communications, Sjobergs Inc., IFiber Communications and OptiLink; its HD feed was launched on 27 September 2010. The linear channel was previously available on Verizon FiOS. The VOD service is available on Optimum, Xfinity, Vubiquity, Frontier FiOS and Armstrong. The VOD service was previously available on Charter Communications and Massilion. 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.