Freeform (TV channel)

Freeform is an American basic cable channel owned and operated by ABC Family Worldwide, a sub-division of the Disney General Entertainment Content division of the Walt Disney Company. Freeform primarily broadcasts programming geared toward teenagers and young adults – with some skewing toward young women – in the 14–34 age range, a target demographic designated by the channel as "becomers". Its programming includes contemporary off-network syndicated reruns and original series, feature films, and made-for-TV original movies.

Freeform
CountryUnited States
Broadcast areaNationwide
HeadquartersBurbank, California
Programming
Language(s)English
Spanish (via SAP audio track)
Picture format480i (SDTV)
720p (HDTV)
Ownership
OwnerDisney General Entertainment Content
ParentFreeform Group
Sister channels
History
LaunchedApril 29, 1977; 45 years ago (1977-04-29)
Former names
  • CBN Satellite Service (1977–1981)
  • CBN Cable Network (1981–1988)
  • The CBN Family Channel (1988–1990)
  • The Family Channel (1990–1998)
  • Fox Family Channel (1998–2001)
  • ABC Family (2001–2016)
Links
Websitefreeform.com

Since the network was launched on April 29, 1977, it has undergone various changes to its programming format and naming under 4 different owners. The network was originally founded as a religious channel, the CBN Satellite Service—an extension of televangelist Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network. It evolved into a family-focused entertainment network in 1981. It was spun off into a for-profit company known as International Family Entertainment (IFE) in 1990, eventually becoming known as The Family Channel. As a condition of the spin-off, the channel was contractually required to maintain airings of The 700 Club and an annual telethon the last Sunday in January; these conditions have applied to all future owners of the channel.

In 1997, IFE and the Family Channel were acquired by a joint venture between News Corporation and Haim Saban. This resulted in its rebranding as the Fox Family Channel a year later. The new owners wanted to reposition the network toward younger viewers as a companion for the popular Fox Kids Network. The venture was sold to Disney in October 2001 after the network began to struggle as a result of their changes. The channel altered its name to ABC Family one month later on November 10, 2001.[1][2] On October 6, 2015, Disney–ABC Television Group announced that the network would be rebranded as Freeform, officially adopting that name on January 12, 2016.[3][4][5]

As of January 2016, Freeform is available to 92 million households in the United States.[6] The network's president reports to the chairman of ABC Television Studios and ABC Entertainment.


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