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This article is about the current division overseeing Disney's television assets. For the defunct television production company of the same name, see Walt Disney Television.

ABC, Inc., DBA Walt Disney Television (formerly Capital Cities/ABC, Inc., ABC Group and the Disney–ABC Television Group) manages all of The Walt Disney Company's television properties. The group includes the ABC Television Network (including ABC Daytime, ABC Entertainment and ABC News divisions), ABC Entertainment, as well as Disney's 50% stake in A&E Television Networks.

History

In 1996, Disney acquired Capital Cities/ABC, Inc. bringing ABC Television Network Group, CC/ABC Broadcasting Group (ABC Radio Network, eight TV and 21 radio stations), ABC Cable and International Broadcast Group, CC/ABC Publishing Group and CC/ABC Multimedia Group. The Cable and International Broadcast Group contained ownership shares of ESPN, Inc. (80%) A&E Television Networks (37.5%), DIC Productions L.P. (Limited Partnership), Lifetime Television (50%) and its international investments. These investments included Tele-Muchen (50%, Germany; included 20% of RTL-2), Hamster Productions (33%, France) and Scandinavian Broadcasting System (23%, Luxembourg). EPSN also had international holdings: Eurosport (33.3%, England), TV Sport (10%, France; Eurosport affiliate) and The Japan Sports Channel (20%). The Publishing Group including Fairchild Publications, Chilton Publications, multiple newspapers from a dozen dailies (including the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, The Kansas City Star) and more weeklies, and dozens more publications in the fields of farm, business and law trade journals plus LA Magazine to Institutional Investor. The Multimedia Group presued businesses in new and emerging media technologies include the interactive television, pay-per-view, VOD, HDTV, video cassette, Optical disc, on-line services and location-based entertainment.

In April 1996 do to ongoing post Disney-CC/ABC merger realignment and retirement of its president, WDTT group's division were reassigned to other groups with Walt Disney Television International (including Disney Channel International and Buena Vista Television domestic syndication and Pay TV division and GMTV and Super RTL holdings) were transferred to Capital Cities/ABC.

In late 1999, Walt Disney Television Studio (also called Buena Vista Television Group), including Buena Vista Television Productions, were transferred out of the Disney Studios to ABC Television Network to merge with ABC's prime-time division, ABC Entertainment, to form ABC Entertainment Television Group. Also Walt Disney Television Studio changed its name to Touchstone Television.

In 2001, The Walt Disney Company purchased Fox Family Worldwide. The company would be renamed to ABC Family Worldwide, Inc., while Saban Entertainment (which was part of the purchase) was renamed to "BVS Entertainment, Inc.".

In Fall 2002, Disney Chairman/CEO Michael Eisner outlined a proposed realignment of the ABC broadcast network dayparts with the similar unit in its cable channels: ABC Saturday mornings with Disney Channel units (Toon & Playhouse), ABC daytime with Soapnet and ABC prime time with ABC Family. In 2004, the name changed to Disney–ABC Television Group.

On January 22, 2009, the Disney–ABC Television Group said it would merge ABC Entertainment and ABC Studios into a new unit called ABC Entertainment Group. Late that year, A+E Networks acquired Lifetime Entertainment Services with DATG ownership increasing to 42%.

In July 2012, NBCUniversal confirmed plans to sell its 15.8% stake in A+E Networks to Disney and Hearst, who will become 50-50 partners in the joint venture.

On August 21, 2013, Disney-ABC Television Group announced it will layoff 175 employees. The layoffs are expected to hit positions among technical operations as well as the unit's eight local stations.

On October 28, 2013, ABC News and Univision plan to launch Fusion, a Hispanic news and satire shows cable channel.

n August 2014, A+E took a 10% stake in Vice Media for $250 million, then announced in April 2015 that H2 would be rebranded into the Vice channel with an indicated early 2016 launch. Disney also directly made two $200 investments in Vice Media in November 2015, then a week later in December, they directly invested in it again for 10% to assist in funding its programming. ABC Family became Freeform on January 12, 2016.

On April 21, 2016, Disney–ABC sold its share in Fusion to Univision. In September 2016, the group's president Ben Sherwood named Bruce Rosenblum, Television Academy chairman and former head of Warner Bros. TV Group, as president of business operations in s the newly created position, to reduce the number of direct reports from 17 to about 8. Roseblum would oversee ad sales in conjunction with channel heads, affiliate sales and marketing, engineering, digital media, global distribution, IT, research and strategy and business development. This allows Sherwood to focus on content and direct operating units that continue to directly report to him, ABC network units, cable channel units (Disney Channels Worldwide, and Freeform), ABC Studios and ABC TV Stations.

With the March 14, 2018, Disney Company reorganization, in anticipation of integrating Fox assets from a proposed acquisition, all international channels including Disney Channels have been transferred to Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International, a new segment, with US channels remaining with Disney–ABC Television Group. All global sales units and distribution units have been transfer to the Disney Direct-to-Consumer segment.

On October 8, 2018, Disney announced the division would be renamed Walt Disney Television following the completion of its acquisition of 21st Century Fox. The acquisition added 20th Century Fox Television, FX Networks and FX Productions, Fox 21 Television Studios, and National Geographic Partners to the division. Fox television executives Peter Rice, Dana Walden, John Landgraf, and Gary E. Knell joined The Walt Disney Company on March 20, 2019.

On March 5, 2019, Disney announced that Craig Hunegs would lead the combined Disney Television Studios — ABC Studios, ABC Signature, 20th Century Fox Television and Fox 21 Television Studios. He would report to Walden.

Disney/iTunes video agreement

In a collaborative initiative with Apple, The Walt Disney Company and the Disney–ABC Television Group were first to debut episodes of hit TV series via iTunes. At present, the Group current and past season episodes of ABC Studios (formerly Touchstone Television) and Disney Channel television shows for download on Apple’s iTunes Music Store.

The entire first and second seasons of ABC hit dramas Desperate Housewives and Lost, the fifth season of the ABC Studios comedy Scrubs; select episodes of popular Disney Channel and Playhouse Disney series including Wizards of Waverly Place, That's So Raven, The Suite Life on Deck, Hannah Montana, Kim Possible, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse; as well as current episodes of ABC Family's new original series Kyle XY are available to U.S. consumers for purchase.

As well, the Disney–ABC Television Group offers an extensive line-up of news, entertainment and audio podcast content on Apple's iTunes Store. Podcast content is now available for free download on the iTunes site in addition to Disney-ABC’s own websites.

On January 22, 2009, the Disney–ABC Television Group said it would merge ABC Entertainment and ABC Studios into a new unit called ABC Entertainment Group.

Units

  • LWN
  • A+E Networks (50%)
  • Lifetime Entertainment Services (50%)
    • Lifetime
    • Lifetime Movie Network
    • Lifetime Real Women
    • Lifetime Radio for Women
    • Lifetime Press
    • Lifetime Digital
  • FX Networks
    • FX
    • FXX
    • FXM
    • FX Productions

International television investments by Disney Enterprises, Inc.

  • Super RTL (Germany) through RTL Disney Fernsehen GmbH & Co KG (50%)
  • RTL II (Germany) through ABC Cable and International Broadcast Worldwide Holdings (15.75%)

Radio Stations currently owned by the Disney-ABC Television Group

  • Radio Disney
    • ABC News Radio
    • Radio Disney Latin America
    • Radio Disney Brazil

Walt Disney Television and Telecommunications

Walt Disney Television and Telecommunications (WDTT) was a division of the The Walt Disney Company. At the time Disney and Capital Cities/ABC merged, WDTT's divisions were The Disney Channel, KCAL-TV Los Angeles, Walt Disney Television, Touchstone Television, Buena Vista Home Video International, and Disney Interactive.

History

On August 24, 1994 with Jeffrey Katzenberg's resignation, Richard Frank became head of Walt Disney Television and Telecommunications. Walt Disney Computer Software was transferred with in WDTT on December 5, 1994 as Disney Interactive. In April 1996 do to ongoing post Disney-CC/ABC merger realignment and retirement of its president, WDTT group's division were reassigned to other groups with most transferred to The Walt Disney Studios or CC/ABC. KCAL was sold to Young Broadcasting in May 1996 due to CC/ABC ownership of another TV station in the market.

Unit transferred to
KCAL-TV Los Angeles sold to Young
Walt Disney Television Disney Studios
Walt Disney Television Animation
Touchstone Television
Buena Vista Home Video
Walt Disney Television International CC/ABC
Disney Channel International
Buena Vista Television
GMTV
Super RTL
Disney Interactive
Disney TeleVentures, Inc. Disney corporate

Gallery


External links

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