|Founded||May 15, 1943|
New York City, United States
by Edward J. Noble and Louis Blanche
|Headquarters||Burbank, California (broadcasting), and Manhattan, New York (corporate),|
|NBC Blue Network|
|720p (HDTV) (downscaled to letterboxed 480i for SDTVs)|
By state and territories or by market
The American Broadcasting Company (ABC; stylized in lowercase as abc) is an American multinational commercial broadcast television network that is a flagship property of Walt Disney Television, a subsidiary of the Disney Media Networks division of The Walt Disney Company. The network is headquartered in Burbank, California, on Riverside Drive, directly across the street from Walt Disney Studios and adjacent to the Roy E. Disney Animation Building. The network's secondary offices, and headquarters of its news division, is in New York City, at its broadcast center at 77 West 66th Street on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
Since 2007, when ABC Radio (also known as Cumulus Media Networks) was sold to Citadel Broadcasting, ABC has reduced its broadcasting operations almost exclusively to television. It is the fifth-oldest major broadcasting network in the world and the youngest of the American Big Three television networks. ABC is nicknamed "The Alphabet Network", as its initialism also represents the first three letters of the English alphabet, in order.
ABC launched as a radio network in 1943, which served as the successor to the NBC Blue Network, which had been purchased by Edward J. Noble. It extended its operations to television in 1948, following in the footsteps of established broadcast networks CBS and NBC. In the mid-1950s, ABC merged with United Paramount Theatres (UPT), a chain of movie theaters that formerly operated as a subsidiary of Paramount Pictures. Leonard Goldenson, who had been the head of UPT, made the new television network profitable by helping develop and greenlight many successful series. In the 1980s, after purchasing an 80 percent interest in cable sports channel ESPN, the network's corporate parent, American Broadcasting Companies, Inc., merged with Capital Cities Communications, owner of several print publications, and television and radio stations. In 1996, most of Capital Cities/ABC's assets were purchased by Disney.
ABC has eight owned-and-operated and over 232 affiliated television stations throughout the United States and its territories. Some ABC-affiliated stations can also be seen in Canada via pay-television providers, and certain other affiliates can also be received over-the-air in areas near the Canada–United States border. ABC News provides news and features content for select radio stations owned by Cumulus Media, as these stations are former ABC Radio properties.
The network's history dates back to 1927, when the network was created as an NBC-operated radio network called the NBC Blue Network. It would later become an independent television network known as the American Broadcasting Company in 1943, and be purchased by The Walt Disney Company on February 6, 1996.
The ABC television network provides 89 hours of regularly scheduled network programming each week. The network provides 22 hours of prime time programming to affiliated stations from 8:00–11:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday (all times Eastern and Pacific Time) and 7:00–11:00 p.m. on Sundays.
Daytime programming is also provided from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. weekdays (with a one-hour break at 12:00 p.m. Eastern/Pacific for stations to air newscasts, locally produced programming or syndicated programs) featuring the talk-lifestyle shows The View and Strahan, Sara and Keke, and the soap opera General Hospital. ABC News programming includes Good Morning America from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. weekdays (along with one-hour weekend editions); nightly editions of ABC World News Tonight (whose weekend editions are occasionally subject to abbreviation or preemption due to sports telecasts overrunning into the program's timeslot), the Sunday political talk show This Week, early morning news programs World News Now and America This Morning and the late night newsmagazine Nightline. Late nights feature the weeknight talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live!.
The network's three-hour Saturday morning children's programming timeslot is programmed by syndication distributor Litton Entertainment, which produces Litton's Weekend Adventure under an arrangement in which the programming block is syndicated exclusively to ABC owned-and-operated and affiliated stations, rather than being leased out directly by the network to Litton.
ABC's daytime schedule currently features the talk shows The View and Strahan, Sara and Keke (the latter an offshoot of Good Morning America), and the soap opera General Hospital. Originally premiering in 1963, General Hospital is ABC's longest-running entertainment program.
In addition to the long-running All My Children (1970–2011) and One Life to Live (1968–2012), notable past soap operas seen on the daytime lineup include Ryan's Hope, Dark Shadows, Loving, The City and Port Charles. ABC also aired the last nine years of the Procter & Gamble-produced soap The Edge of Night, following its cancellation by CBS in 1975. ABC Daytime has also aired a number of game shows, including The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game, Let's Make a Deal, Password, Split Second, The $10,000/$20,000 Pyramid, Family Feud, The Better Sex, Trivia Trap, All-Star Blitz and Hot Streak.
Sports programming is provided on occasion, primarily on weekend afternoons. Since 2006, the ABC Sports division has been defunct, with all sports telecasts on ABC being produced in association with sister cable network ESPN under the branding ESPN on ABC. While ABC has, in the past, aired notable sporting events such as the NFL's Monday Night Football, and various college football bowl games, general industry trends and changes in rights have prompted reductions in sports on broadcast television, with Disney preferring to schedule the majority of its sports rights on the networks of ESPN.
ABC is the broadcast television rightsholder of the National Basketball Association (NBA), with its package (under the NBA on ESPN branding) traditionally beginning with its Christmas Day games, followed by a series of Saturday night and Sunday afternoon games through the remainder of the season, weekend playoff games, and all games of the NBA Finals. During college football season, ABC typically carries an afternoon doubleheader on Saturdays, along with the primetime Saturday Night Football. ABC also airs coverage of selected bowl games. Beginning in the 2015 NFL season, ESPN agreed to begin simulcasting a wild card playoff game on ABC.
The Saturday afternoon lineup outside of football season typically features airings of ESPN Films documentaries and other studio programs under the banner ESPN Sports Saturday, while Sunday afternoons usually feature either brokered programming, or encore and burn-off airings of ABC programs.
In 2015, ESPN's annual ESPY Awards presentation moved to ABC from ESPN. Bolstered by Caitlyn Jenner accepting the inaugural Arthur Ashe Courage Award during the ceremony, the 2015 ESPY Awards' viewership were roughly tripled over the 2014 ceremony on ESPN.
ABC currently holds the broadcast rights to the Academy Awards, Emmy Awards,[a] American Music Awards, and the Country Music Association Awards.[b] ABC has also aired the Miss America competition from 1954 to 1956, 1997 to 2005, and 2011 to 2018.
Since 2000, ABC has also owned the television rights to most of the Peanuts television specials, having acquired the broadcast rights from CBS, which originated the specials in 1965 with the debut of A Charlie Brown Christmas (other Peanuts specials broadcast annually by ABC, including A Charlie Brown Christmas, include It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving). ABC also broadcasts the annual Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade special on Christmas morning.[relevant? ]
Since 1974, ABC has generally aired Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve – a New Year's Eve special featuring music performances and coverage of festivities in New York's Times Square.[c] ABC is also among the broadcasters of the Tournament of Roses Parade (although as mentioned, the Rose Bowl Game now airs exclusively on ESPN as a College Football Playoff "New Year's Six" bowl).[relevant? ]
ABC owns nearly all of its in-house television and theatrical productions made from the 1970s onward, with the exception of certain co-productions (for example, The Commish is now owned by the estate of its producer, Stephen Cannell). Worldwide video rights are currently owned by various companies; for example, Kino Lorber owns the North American home video rights to the ABC feature film library (along with some lesser known live action films from Disney's library, mostly from Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures and 20th Century Studios).
When the FCC imposed its Financial Interest and Syndication Rules rules in 1970, ABC proactively created two companies: Worldvision Enterprises as a syndication distributor, and ABC Circle Films as a production company. However, between the publication and implementation of these regulations, the separation of the network's catalog was made in 1973. The broadcast rights to pre-1973 productions were transferred to Worldvision, which became independent in the same year. The company has been sold several times since Paramount Television acquired it in 1999, and has most recently been absorbed into CBS Television Distribution, a unit of ViacomCBS. Nonetheless, Worldvision sold portions of its catalog, including the Ruby-Spears and Hanna-Barbera libraries, to Turner Broadcasting System in 1991. With Disney's 1996 purchase of ABC, ABC Circle Films was absorbed into Touchstone Television, a Disney subsidiary which in turn was renamed ABC Studios in 2007.
Also part of the library are most films in the David O. Selznick library, the Cinerama Productions/Palomar theatrical library (with the exception of those films produced in Cinerama which are now under the control of Pacific Theatres and Flicker Alley), the Selmur Productions catalog that the network acquired some years back, and the in-house productions it continues to produce (such as America's Funniest Home Videos, General Hospital, ABC News productions, and series from Disney Television Studios (ABC Signature and 20th Television)). Disney–ABC Domestic Television (formerly known as Buena Vista Television and 20th Television) handles domestic television distribution, while Disney–ABC International Television (formerly known as Buena Vista International Television) handles international television distribution.
Since its inception, ABC has had over 300 television stations that have carried programming from the network at various times throughout its history, including its first two owned-and-operated and affiliated stations, founding O&O WABC-TV and inaugural affiliate WPVI-TV. As of 2020 , ABC has eight owned-and-operated stations, and current and pending affiliation agreements with 236 additional television stations encompassing 49 states, the District of Columbia, four U.S. possessions, Bermuda and Saba. This makes ABC the largest U.S. broadcast television network by total number of affiliates. The network has an estimated national reach of 97.72% of all households in the United States (or 305,347,338 Americans with at least one television set).
Currently, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Delaware are the only U.S. states where ABC does not have a locally licensed affiliate (New Jersey is served by New York City O&O WABC-TV in the north half of the state and Philadelphia O&O WPVI-TV in the south; Rhode Island is served by New Bedford, Massachusetts-licensed WLNE, though outside of the transmitter, all other operations for the station are based in Providence; and Delaware is served by WPVI in the northern third and Salisbury, Maryland, affiliate WMDT in the southern two-thirds of the state). ABC maintains affiliations with low-power stations (broadcasting either in analog or digital) in a few markets, such as Birmingham, Alabama (WBMA-LD), Lima, Ohio (WPNM-LD) and South Bend, Indiana (WBND-LD). In some markets, including the former two mentioned, these stations also maintain digital simulcasts on a subchannel of a co-owned/co-managed full-power television station.
The network has the unusual distinction of having separately owned-and-operated affiliates which serve the same market in Tampa, Florida (WFTS-TV and WWSB), Lincoln, Nebraska (KLKN-TV and KHGI-TV), and Grand Rapids, Michigan (WZZM and WOTV), with an analogous situation arising in Kansas City, Missouri (KMBC-TV and KQTV). KQTV is licensed to St. Joseph, which Nielsen designates as a separate market from Kansas City, despite a mere 55-mile (89 km) distance between the two cities and the Kansas City-based stations (including KMBC) providing better city-grade to Grade B coverage to the area compared to the signals of the primary ABC affiliates in the other aforementioned dual-affiliate markets. (KQTV was St. Joseph's lone major network affiliate until 2011, when locally based News-Press & Gazette Company began establishing low-power affiliates of ABC's four English-language competitors and Telemundo on three low-power stations to end St. Joseph's dependence on Kansas City.) WWSB, KHGI and WOTV, meanwhile, serve areas that do not receive an adequate signal from their market's primary ABC affiliate. (Of note, ABC initially affiliated with WWSB to cover southern portions of the Tampa–St. Petersburg market—including WWSB's city of license, Sarasota—as the transmitters of WTSP, the market's former primary ABC affiliate from 1965 to 1994, and Miami affiliate WPLG had been short-spaced to avoid interference between their respective analog-VHF channel 10 signals; WWSB remained an ABC affiliate after its Tampa affiliation moved from WTSP to WFTS in December 1994, even though WFTS's signal reaches Sarasota and some surrounding areas.)[relevant? ]
The Sinclair Broadcast Group is the largest operator of ABC stations by numerical total, owning or providing services to 28 full, primary ABC affiliates and two subchannel-only affiliates. Sinclair owns the largest ABC subchannel affiliate by market size, WABM-DT2/WDBB-DT2 in the Birmingham market, which serve as repeaters of WBMA-LD (which itself is also simulcast on a subchannel of former WBMA satellite WGWW, owned by Sinclair partner company Howard Stirk Holdings). The E. W. Scripps Company is the largest operator of ABC stations in terms of overall market reach, owning 15 ABC-affiliated stations (including affiliates in larger markets such as Cleveland, Phoenix, Detroit and Denver), and through its ownership of Phoenix affiliate KNXV, Las Vegas affiliate KTNV-TV and Tucson affiliate KGUN-TV, it is the only provider of ABC programming for the majority of Arizona (outside the Yuma-El Centro market) and Southern Nevada. Scripps also owns and operates several ABC stations in the Mountain and Pacific time zones, including in Denver, San Diego, Bakersfield, California, and Boise, Idaho, and when combined with the ABC-owned stations in Los Angeles, Fresno, and San Francisco, the affiliations from the News-Press & Gazette Company in Santa Barbara, Palm Springs, Yuma-El Centro, and Colorado Springs-Pueblo, and Sinclair's affiliations in Seattle and Portland, Oregon, these four entities control the access of ABC network programming in most of the Western United States, particularly in terms of audience reach.
Facilities and studios
All of ABC's owned-and-operated stations and affiliates have had their own facilities and studios, but transverse entities have been created to produce national programming. As a result, television series were produced by ABC Circle Films beginning in 1962 and by Touchstone Television beginning in 1985, before Touchstone was reorganized as ABC Studios in February 2007. Since the 1950s, ABC has had two main production facilities: the ABC Television Center (now The Prospect Studios) on Prospect Avenue in Hollywood, California, shared with the operations of KABC-TV until 1999; and the ABC Television Center, East, a set of studios located throughout New York City.
In addition to the headquarters building on Riverside Drive, other ABC facilities in Burbank include a building at 3800 West Alameda, known as 'Burbank Center', which is primarily associated with Disney–ABC Television Group and functions as the headquarters and broadcast center for Disney Junior, Disney Channel, Disney XD, FreeForm, and Radio Disney. Additionally, Disney Television Animation has a facility on Empire Avenue near the Hollywood Burbank Airport. In nearby Glendale, Disney/ABC also maintains the Grand Central Creative Campus, which houses other company subsidiaries, including the studios of KABC-TV and the Los Angeles bureau of ABC News.
ABC owns several facilities in New York grouped mainly on West 66th Street, with the main set of facilities on the corner of Columbus Avenue. In total, ABC's facilities occupy a combined 9,755 square meters (105,000 sq ft) of the 159,990 square feet (14,864 m2) of the blocks they encompass.[relevant? ] This main set of buildings includes:
- 77 West 66th Street, a 22-story building built in 1988 on a 175-by-200-foot (53 m × 61 m) plot;
- A pair of buildings at 147–155 Columbus Avenue (ten and seven stories) connected by glass bays, constructed on a 150-by-200-foot (46 m × 61 m) plot;
- 30 West 67th Street, a 15-story building with a facade on 67th Street on a 100-by-100-foot (30 m × 30 m) plot;
- 55 West 67th Street, the former First Battery of the New York National Guard, a five-story building on a 174-by-100-foot (53 m × 30 m) plot.
ABC also owns 7, 17 and 47 West 66th Street, three buildings on a 375-by-100-foot (114 m × 30 m) plot.
Disney formerly leased 70,000 sq ft (6,500 m2) at 157 Columbus Avenue, on the other side of 67th Street.
ABC also owns the Times Square Studios at 1500 Broadway, on land owned by a development fund for the 42nd Street Project. Opened in 1999, Good Morning America is broadcast from this facility. ABC News has premises on West 66th Street, in a six-story building occupying a 196-by-379-foot (60 m × 116 m) plot at 121–135 West End Avenue. The block of West 66th street between Central Park West and Columbus Ave which houses the ABC News building was renamed Peter Jennings Way in 2006 in honor of the then-recently deceased news anchor.[relevant? ]
On July 9, 2018, the Walt Disney Company announced that it was selling its two West 66th Street campuses (except for the National Guard Amory) to Silverstein Properties and purchasing one square block of property in lower Manhattan to build a new New York-based broadcast center.
ABC maintains several video-on-demand (VOD) services for delayed viewing of the network's programming, including a traditional VOD service called ABC on Demand, which is carried on most traditional cable and IPTV providers. The Walt Disney Company is also a part-owner of Hulu, and has offered full-length episodes of most of ABC's programming through this streaming service since July 6, 2009.
In May 2013, ABC launched "WatchABC", a revamp of its traditional multi-platform streaming services encompassing the network's existing streaming portal at ABC.com and a mobile app for smartphones and tablet computers. This service provides full-length episodes of ABC programs and live streams of local affiliates in select markets (this was the first such offering by a U.S. broadcast network). However, live streams are only available to authenticated subscribers of participating pay television providers. WABC-TV New York and WPVI-TV Philadelphia were the first stations to offer streams of their programming on the service, with the six remaining ABC O&Os offering streams by the start of the 2013–14 season. Hearst Television also reached a deal to offer streams of its ABC affiliates on the service, though as of 2016 these stations are only available for live-streaming for DirecTV subscribers.
In November 2015, it was reported that ABC had been developing a slate of original digital series for the WatchABC service, internally codenamed ABC3. In July 2016, ABC re-launched its streaming platforms, dropping the WatchABC brand, adding a streaming library of 38 classic ABC series, and introducing 7 original short-form series under the blanket branding ABCd.
The most recent episodes of the network's shows are usually made available on the ABC app, Hulu and ABC on Demand the day after their original broadcast. In addition, ABC on Demand disallows fast forwarding of accessed content. Restrictions implemented on January 7, 2014, restrict streaming of the most recent episode of any ABC program on Hulu and the ABC app until eight days after their initial broadcast, in order to encourage live or same-week viewing (via DVR and cable on demand), with day-after-air streaming on either service limited to subscribers of participating pay television providers using an authenticated internet account.
ABC's network feeds are transmitted in 720p high definition (HD), the native resolution format for The Walt Disney Company's U.S. television properties. However, most of Hearst Television's 16 ABC-affiliated stations transmit the network's programming in 1080i HD, while 11 other affiliates owned by various companies carry the network feed in 480i standard definition either due to technical considerations for affiliates of other major networks that carry ABC programming on a digital subchannel or because a primary feed ABC affiliate has not yet upgraded their transmission equipment to allow content to be presented in HD.
ABC began its conversion to high definition with the launch of its simulcast feed, ABC HD, on September 16, 2001, at the start of the 2001–02 season, with its scripted prime time series becoming the first shows to upgrade to the format. Both new and returning scripted series were broadcast in high definition. In 2011, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was the last program on the network's schedule that was broadcast in 4:3 standard definition. All of the network's new programming has been presented in HD since January 2012. The affiliate-syndicated Saturday morning educational and informative (E/I) block Litton's Weekend Adventure was the first children's program block on U.S. network television to feature programs available in HD upon its September 2011 debut.
On September 1, 2016, ABC began to use 16:9 framing for all of most graphical imaging (primarily the network's logo bug, in-program promotions and generic closing credit sequences as well as sports telecasts, where the BottomLine and scoreboard elements now extend outside the 4:3 frame), requiring its stations and pay television providers to display its programming in a compulsory widescreen format, either in high definition or standard definition. With this change, some programs also began positioning their main on-screen credits outside the 4:3 aspect ratio.
The ABC logo has evolved many times since the network's creation in 1943. The network's first logo, introduced in 1946, consisted of a television screen containing the letters "T" and "V", with a vertical ABC microphone in the center, referencing the network's roots in radio. When the ABC-UPT merger was finalized in 1953, the network introduced a new logo based on the FCC seal, with the letters "ABC" enclosed in a circular shield surmounted by a bald eagle. In 1957, just before the television network began its first color broadcasts, the ABC logo consisted of a tiny lowercase "abc" in the center of a large lowercase letter a, a design known as the ABC Circle A.
In 1962, graphic designer Paul Rand redesigned the ABC logo into its current and best-known form, with the lowercase letters "abc" enclosed in a single black circle. The new logo debuted on-air for ABC's promos at the start of the 1963–64 season. The letters are strongly reminiscent of the Bauhaus typeface designed by Herbert Bayer in the 1920s, but also share similarities with several other fonts, such as ITC Avant Garde and Horatio, and most closely resembling Chalet. The logo's simplicity made it easier to redesign and duplicate, which was beneficial before the advent of computer graphics. A color version of the logo was also developed around 1963, and animated as a brief 10-second intro to be shown before the then-small handful of network programs broadcast in color (similar to the NBC "Laramie" peacock intro used during that era). The "a" was rendered in red, the "b" in blue, and the "c" in green, against the same single black circle. A variant of this color logo, with the colored letters against a white circle, was also commonly used throughout the 1960s.
The 1970s and 1980s saw the emergence of many graphical imaging packages for the network which based the logo's setting mainly on special lighting effects then under development including white, blue, pink, rainbow neon, and glittering dotted lines. Among the ABC Circle logo's many variants was a 1977 ID sequence that featured a bubble on a black background representing the circle with glossy gold letters, and was the first ABC identification card to simulate a three-dimensional appearance.
In 1983, for the 40th anniversary of the network's founding, ID sequences had the logo appear in a gold CGI design on a blue background, accompanied by the slogan "That Special Feeling" in a script font. Ten years later, in 1993, the "ABC Circle" logo reverted to its classic white-on-black color scheme, but with gloss effects on both the circle and the letters, and a bronze border surrounding the circle. The ABC logo first appeared as an on-screen bug in the 1993–94 season, appearing initially only for 60 seconds at the beginning of an act or segment, then appearing throughout programs beginning in the 1995–96 season; the respective iterations of the translucent logo bug were also incorporated within program promotions until the 2011–12 season.
During the 1997–98 season, the network began using a minimalist graphical identity with a yellow and black motif, designed by Pittard Sullivan, featuring a small black-and-white "ABC Circle" logo on a yellow background (promotions during this time also featured a sequence of still photos of the stars of its programs during the timeslot card as well as the schedule sequence that began each night's prime time lineup). A new four-note theme tune was introduced alongside the package, based around the network's then-new "We Love TV" image campaign from the 1998–99 season, creating an audio signature in comparative parlance to the NBC chimes, CBS's various three-note soundmarks (including the current version introduced in 1992) and the Fox Fanfare. The four-note signature has been updated with every television season thereafter.
In 2000, ABC launched a web-based promotional campaign focused around its circle logo, also called 'the dot', in which comic book character Little Dot prompted visitors to "download the dot", a program which would cause the ABC logo to fly around the screen and settle in the bottom-right corner. The network hired the Troika Design Group to design and produce its 2001–02 identity, which continued using the black-and-yellow coloring of the logo and featured dots and stripes in various promotional and identification spots.
On June 16, 2007, ABC began to phase-in a new imaging campaign for the upcoming 2007–08 season, Start Here. Also developed by Troika, the on-air design was intended to emphasize the availability of ABC content across multiple platforms (in particular, using a system of icons representing different devices, such as television, computers and mobile devices). It also sought to "simplify and bring a lot more consistency and continuity to the visual representation of ABC". The ABC logo was given a glossy "ball" effect that was specifically designed for HD. On-air, the logo was accompanied by animated water and ribbon effects. Red ribbons were used to represent the entertainment division, while blue ribbons were used for ABC News.
A revised version of the ABC logo was introduced for promotions for the 2013–14 season during the network's upfront presentation on May 14, 2013, and officially introduced on-air on May 30 (although some affiliates implemented the new design prior to then), as part of an overhaul of ABC's identity by design agency LoyalKaspar. The updated logo carries a simpler gloss design than the previous version, and contains lettering more closely resembling Paul Rand's original version of the circle logo. A new custom typeface inspired by the ABC logotype, ABC Modern (which closely resembles the Lucas Sharp-designed Sharp Sans font family), was also created for use in advertising and other promotional materials. The logo was used in various color schemes, with a gold version used primarily for ABC's entertainment divisions, a red version used primarily for ESPN on ABC, steel blue and dark grey versions used primarily by ABC News, and all four colors used interchangeably in promotions. As part of a reimaging for the 2018–19 season, the color variants were dropped in favor of the dark grey version.
The Circle 7 logo, designed in 1962, is also commonly associated with ABC affiliates who broadcast on channel 7, including its flagship local stations WABC-TV (New York City), KABC-TV (Los Angeles), KGO-TV (San Francisco) and WLS-TV (Chicago). This logo was intended to be used somewhat interchangeably by these stations with the main circular network logo and has itself also become an iconic symbol of the ABC network. KGO was the first of the ABC-owned stations to use the Circle 7 logo, starting on August 27, 1962; by the end of the year, the other ABC-owned stations began using the logo, and have continued to do so since.
The first attempts to internationalize the ABC television network dates to the 1950s, when Goldenson tried to use the same strategies he had in expanding UPT's theater operation to the international market. Goldenson said that ABC's first international activity was broadcasting the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in June 1953; CBS and NBC were delayed in covering the coronation due to flight delays. Goldenson tried international investing, having ABC invest in stations in the Latin American market, acquiring a 51% interest in a network covering Central America and in 1959 established program distributor Worldvision Enterprises. Goldenson also cited interest in Japan in the early 1950s, acquiring a 5% stake in two new domestic networks, the Mainichi Broadcasting System in 1951 and Nihon Educational Television in 1957. Goldenson also invested in broadcasting properties in Beirut in the mid-1960s.
The goal was to create a network of wholly and partially owned channels and affiliates to rebroadcast the network's programs. In 1959, this rerun activity was completed with program syndication, with ABC Films selling programs to networks not owned by ABC. The arrival of satellite television ended the need for ABC to hold interests in other countries; many governments also wanted to increase their independence and strengthen legislation to limit foreign ownership of broadcasting properties. As a result, ABC was forced to sell all of its interests in international networks, mainly in Japan and Latin America, in the 1970s.
The second period of international expansion is linked to that of the ESPN network in the 1990s, and policies enacted in the 2000s by Disney Media Networks. These policies included the expansion of several of the company's U.S.-based cable networks including Disney Channel and its spinoffs Toon Disney, Playhouse Disney and Jetix; although Disney also sold its 33% stake in European sports channel Eurosport for $155 million in June 2000. In contrast to Disney's other channels, ABC broadcasts in the United States with programming syndicated in other countries. The policy regarding wholly owned international networks was revived and on September 27, 2004, ABC announced the launch of ABC1, a free-to-air channel in the United Kingdom owned by the ABC Group. However, ABC1 could not attain sustainable viewership and was shut down in October 2007.
Prior to the ABC1 closure, on October 10, 2006, Disney–ABC Television Group entered into an agreement with satellite provider Dish TV to carry its ABC News Now channel in India. However, this operation was not put into effect.
Most Canadians have access to at least one U.S.-based ABC affiliate, either over-the-air (in areas located within proximity of the Canada–United States border) or through a cable, satellite or IPTV provider. Most ABC programs are subject to simultaneous substitution regulations imposed by the CRTC, which require television service providers to replace an American station's signal with the feed of a Canadian broadcaster carrying the same syndicated program to protect domestic programming rights and advertising revenue.
Films produced by ABC
- Broadcast rights to the Emmy Awards are rotated across all four major networks on a year-to-year basis
- Along with two associated specials, the CMA Music Festival and CMA Country Christmas.
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