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ABC Family Worldwide Inc. is a producer and distributor of family entertainment and information programming worldwide. The company is owned by the Walt Disney Company and was founded in 1990 by Pat Robertson as International Family Entertainment Inc.

ABC Family Worldwide's principal business is Freeform, a satellite delivered cable-television network. The company is located in Burbank, California.


Fox Family Worldwide logo.

  • 1977: Robertson's CBN created CBN Cable.
  • 1988: CBN Cable was renamed The CBN Family Channel.
  • 1990: International Family Entertainment, Inc. (IFE) was formed by Pat Robertson. This acquired The CBN Family Channel from CBN, renaming it The Family Channel.
  • 1992: IFE acquired the archives of TVS Entertainment plc (a former ITV franchise holder for the South of England) for $68.5 million, which included the MTM Enterprises library.
  • 1996: News Corporation's Fox Children's Productions and Haim Saban's Saban Entertainment merged to form a new joint-venture company called Fox Kids Worldwide, Inc. IFE’s 61% share in The Family Channel UK was sold to Flextech giving them full control of the channel and would eventually relaunch TFC UK as Challenge TV in early 1997. The deal also included The Maidstone Studios, but IFE held on to the TV archive.
  • June 11, 1997: Fox Kids Worldwide, Inc. (FKW) acquired IFE for $1.9 billion. FKW was renamed Fox Family Worldwide, Inc.
  • 1998: TV programming archives of IFE and MTM Productions were folded into 20th Century Fox Television.
  • August 15, 1998: The Family Channel was renamed Fox Family Channel, later shortened to simply Fox Family.
  • October 24, 2001: The Walt Disney Company purchased Fox Family Worldwide for US$5.3 billion ($2.9 billion cash plus $2.3 billion in debt assumption). The company was renamed ABC Family Worldwide, Inc. and the Fox Family Channel was renamed ABC Family. The US Fox Kids Block was not included within the purchase and was later replaced with the 4Kids-programmed "FoxBox TV" block (later renamed 4KidsTV in 2005). The buyout included:
    • The assets of Saban Entertainment and its subsidiaries, including Saban International N.V. and Saban International Paris.
      • The programming archives of Saban Entertainment.
      • The programming archives of Fox Children's Productions/Fox Kids.
      • The Fox Kids brand name.
      • The 75.7% majority stake in Fox Kids Europe N.V.
      • Fox Kids' international channels, including the Latin American and European parts.
  • 2004-2005: Fox Kids Europe, Fox Kids Latin America and ABC Family Worldwide form a new global branding strategy, which would be titled Jetix. It would be used to replace the Fox Kids brand, as well as being used as a block on Toon Disney in the United States.
  • December 2008: Disney announces to extend it's ownership of Jetix Europe N.V. to 96%, and eventually purchase the rest of the company, and have them delisted from the Euronext. This was in order for Disney to place the Jetix under full control and to rebrand them as Disney XD or Disney Channel, depending on the region.
  • 2010: Jetix was renamed Disney XD.
  • 2012: ABCFW takes operational control of SOAPnet towards the start of March and begins programming the network with the dissolution of the ABC Daytime division and the slow discontinuation of that network to launch Disney Junior.
  • 2016: ABC Family was renamed Freeform.
  • 2019: ABCFW would be reunited with most of its former Fox siblings when Disney acquired the bulk of 21st Century Fox's assets.

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