ABC Family Worldwide
ABC Family Worldwide is a subsidiary of Walt Disney Television that is responsible for the operations of the U.S. cable network Freeform.
|Founded||January 10, 1990|
News Corporation (1997–2001)
The Walt Disney Company (2001–present)
|Parent||Fox Networks Group (1997–2001)|
Walt Disney Television
(Disney General Entertainment Content) (2001–present)
|Subsidiaries||Freeform Studios |
|Footnotes / references|
The company was originally formed as International Family Entertainment, a spin-off of the Christian Broadcasting Network's cable network The Family Channel.
In 1993, IFE acquired the assets of defunct British ITV broadcaster Television South, whose holdings included the library of U.S. studio MTM Enterprises. In 1996, IFE was acquired by News Corporation; the MTM library was melded into 20th Century Fox Television's library, while the remainder was melded into Fox Kids Worldwide (a merger of its Fox Kids unit with Saban Entertainment), to form Fox Family Worldwide. Fox and Saban planned to leverage the popular Fox Kids lineup to turn The Family Channel—which was re-branded as the Fox Family Channel following the purchase—into a competitor to other children's-oriented cable channels such as Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, and Cartoon Network. The subsidiary also established international Fox Kids networks in Europe and Latin America.
After facing struggling ratings and a failed attempt by Saban to buy out News Corporation's stake in the venture, Fox Family Worldwide was later sold to its current owner, The Walt Disney Company, in 2001 for $5.3 billion. The purchase gave Disney ownership of the Fox Family channel (which was subsequently rebranded as ABC Family), the international Fox Kids channels (which were later re-branded as Jetix, and then Disney XD), and rights to the Saban Entertainment library. Following then, the company would be rebranded in 2001 under the name ABC Family Worldwide until 2016. The subsidiary has since been amalgamated into the Walt Disney Television group. Saban Brands, Saban Entertainment's successor, would acquire the rights to some of the properties held by its predecessor; most of these assets have since been acquired by Hasbro.