|Industry|| Broadcast and cable television|
|Predecessor|| American Broadcasting-Paramount Theatres |
the production company of the same name
|Founded||March 18, 1985|
|Worldwide, mainly serving United States|
|Products|| Television channel |
|Services||Television production and distribution|
Number of employees
|Parent||Disney General Entertainment Content|
(The Walt Disney Company)
Walt Disney Television is an American entertainment company that oversees television content and assets owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company. Forming the company's General Entertainment division,it was formerly called Disney–ABC Television Group, ABC Group before that, and Capital Cities/ABC initially, until Disney's acquisition of 21st Century Fox on March 20, 2019. Assets in the group include television networks: ABC Entertainment, Disney Channels, and FX Networks; Disney Television Studios: ABC Signature, 20th Television and 20th Television Animation; and Hulu Originals.
In 1995, Disney acquired Capital Cities/ABC Inc., and initially re-branded the holding media conglomerate as ABC Group. The assets acquired at the time included 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 to the fold. 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 stake), Lifetime Television (50%) and its international investments. These investments included Tele-München (50%, Germany; included 20% of RTL II), Hamster Productions. (33%, France) and Scandinavian Broadcasting System (23%, Luxembourg). ESPN 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 pursued businesses in new and emerging media technologies, including the interactive television, pay-per-view, VOD, HDTV, video cassette, Optical disc, on-line services and location-based entertainment.
In April 1996, due 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 Channels International and Buena Vista Television domestic syndication and Pay TV division and GMTV and Super RTL holdings) were transferred to Capital Cities/ABC.In May due to the merger, ABC ended its ABC Productions division operations while keeping its boutique production companies: Victor Television, DIC Productions, L.P., ABC/Kane Productions and Greengrass Productions. The international operations of Disney TV International and ABC Cable and International Broadcast Group were merged in June as Disney/ABC International Television.
Under Disney, ABC Group sold various publishing companies in 1997. Chilton was sold to Reed Elsevier for $447 million and received $142 million from Euromoney Publications for Institutional Investor. In April, Knight Ridder purchased four newspapers including The Kansas City Star and The Fort Worth Star-Telegram for $1.65 billion. In August 1999, Fairchild Publications was sold to Conde Nast Publications for $650 million.In March 1998, ABC placed it shares of Scandinavian Broadcasting System up for sale.
In late 1999, Walt Disney Television, along with other television units, were transferred again from The Walt Disney Studios to Disney–ABC Television Group and merged with ABC's primetime division, ABC Entertainment, forming ABC Entertainment Group.Robert A. Iger was promoted from president and chief operating officer in February 1999 to chairman of ABC Group and president of Walt Disney International.
In March 2000, ABC formed the Disney Kids Network (DKN) advertising group via consolidation to sell ads for ABC's "TGIF" primetime programming, Disney's One Saturday Morning, the Disney's One Too syndicated programming block, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire , The Wonderful World of Disney and Winnie the Pooh primetime specials. DKN was placed under senior vice president of sales at ABC, Dan Barnathan, and would also work on some ads with Radio Disney, Disney.com and the Disney Adventures magazine. DKN added Toon Disney when the channel started accepting ads in September 2000.
Iger was named president and chief operating officer of The Walt Disney Company in January 2000.In 2000, with an investment by Bain Capital and Chase Capital Partners, Heyward re-purchased DIC Entertainment, L.P. from Disney, making the company re-independent
In September 2002, Disney Chairman/CEO Michael Eisner outlined a proposed realignment of the ABC broadcast network's daytime parts 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 October 2003, ABC Family Worldwide was changed from a unit directly reporting to the Disney COO to a unit running within the ABC Cable Networks Group under Anne Sweeney.
On April 21, 2004, Disney announced a restructuring of its Disney Media Networks division with Sweeney being named president of ABC parent Disney–ABC Television Group, and ESPN president George Bodenheimer becoming co-CEO of the division with Sweeney, as well as president of ABC Sports. This move added ABC TV Network within Disney-ABC. ABC1 channel initially launched in the United Kingdom on September 27, 2004 as the first use of the ABC brand outside the US. While ABC News Now was launched that year in the US on digital subchannel of 70 ABC owned & operated and affiliates.
On June 12, 2007, Disney spun off its ABC Radio Networks and merged it into Citadel Communications with Citadel Broadcasting while retaining its ESPN Radio and Radio Disney networks and stations and a 10-year news provider licensing agreement with Citadel for ABC News Radio and the networks.
In February 2007, the previous iteration of Touchstone Television was renamed ABC Television Studio as part of Disney's push to drop secondary brands like Buena Vista for Disney, ABC, ESPN, and most recently, A&E Networks. September 26, 2007.ABC1 in the UK was shut down on
On January 22, 2009, Disney–ABC said it would merge ABC Entertainment and ABC Studios into a new unit called ABC Entertainment Group.That April, ABC Enterprises took an ownership stake in Hulu in exchange for online distribution license and $25 million in the ABC network ad credits. The Live Well Network (LWN) was launched on April 27, 2009 by ABC Owned Television Stations on the stations' subchannels. Later that year, A+E Networks acquired Lifetime Entertainment Services with DATG ownership increasing to 42%. In November, Disney-ABC sells GMTV to ITV for $37 million.
On March 24, 2012, following the dissolution of the ABC Daytime division, ABC Family Worldwide Inc. began taking operational control of Soapnet until that network was slowly discontinued for Disney Junior.
In July 2012, NBCUniversal confirmed plans to sell its 15.8% stake in A+E Networks to Disney for $3 billion (along with its previous owner Hearst Entertainment & Syndication, who became 50-50 partners in the joint venture).
On August 21, 2013, Disney–ABC announced it will lay off 175 employees. The layoffs are expected to hit positions among technical operations as well as the unit's eight local stations.On October 28, ABC News and Univision Communications launched Fusion, a cable Hispanic news and satire channel.
In 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 Networks to the division. Fox television executives Peter Rice, Dana Walden, John Landgraf, and Gary Knell joined The Walt Disney Company on March 20, 2019.
On March 5, 2019, Craig Hunegs was named to lead the combined Disney Television Studios — ABC Studios, ABC Signature, 20th Century Fox Television and Fox 21 Television Studios. He would report to Walden.
Following the completed acquisition of the 21st Century Fox assets in March 2019, Disney reorganized its television division to align various operations. On June 10, 2019, Disney announced that both Disney Television Studios and FX Entertainment would share the same casting division.After assuming full control over Hulu in May 2019, Disney reorganized Hulu's reporting structure in July 2019, placing Hulu's Scripted Originals team under Walt Disney Television. Under the new structure, Hulu's SVP of Original Scripted Content would report directly to the chairman of Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment.
On August 10, 2020, Disney Television Studios rebranded all of its three studios, effective immediately, as part of merger terms which required dropping "Fox" from assets acquired from 21st Century Fox. 20th Century Fox Television became 20th Television; Fox 21 Television Studios became the current iteration of Touchstone Television to avoid brand confusion with Fox Corporation; and ABC Studios merged with the original incarnation of ABC Signature Studios to form the current ABC Signature. In addition, the former 20th Television – the syndication arm of 20th Century Fox TV – was folded into Disney-ABC Domestic Television.In December 2020, Touchstone Television merged into 20th Television.
In February 2021, Disney Television Studios established a new unit known as Walt Disney Television Alternative, which will oversee the development of non-scripted programming. The division is led by Rob Mills, the former ABC SVP of alternative series, specials and late-night.
This is the current structure of the Walt Disney Television units based on reporting hierarchy:
|Entertainment||Disney Branded Television||FX Networks|| National Geographic|
Re-organizational transfers 2018
These assets were transferred to Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International in 2018, which include:
|KCAL-TV Los Angeles||Sold to Young|
|Walt Disney Television||Disney Studios|
|Disney Television Animation|
|Buena Vista Home Entertainment|
|Walt Disney Television International||CC/ABC|
|Disney Channel International|
|Buena Vista Television|
|Disney TeleVentures, Inc.||Disney corporate|
Walt Disney Television and Telecommunications (WDTT) was a division of 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 Entertainment, and Disney Interactive.
On August 24, 1994, with Jeffrey Katzenberg's resignation, a reorganization of Disney took place in which Richard H. Frank became head of newly formed Walt Disney Television and Telecommunications, which was split from its filmed entertainment business, Walt Disney Studios.On December 5, 1994, Walt Disney Computer Software was transferred within WDTT as Disney Interactive. At the end of his contract on April 30, 1995, Frank left Disney. Dennis Hightower, a marketing executive, was appointed by April 9 to succeed Frank.
In April 1996, due to ongoing post-Disney-CC/ABC merger realignment and the retirement of Hightower as president, WDTT's divisions were reassigned to other groups, with most of them transferred to either The Walt Disney Studios or CC/ABC.KCAL was sold to Young Broadcasting in May 1996 due to CC/ABC ownership of KABC-TV.
The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) is an American multinational commercial broadcast television network that is a flagship property of Walt Disney Television, a division of Disney General Entertainment Content 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, are in New York City, at its broadcast center at 77 West 66th Street on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
FX is an American pay television channel owned by FX Networks, LLC, a subsidiary of the Disney General Entertainment unit of The Walt Disney Company. It is based at the Fox Studios lot in Century City, California. FX originally launched on June 1, 1994. The network's original programming aspires to the standards of premium cable channels in regard to mature themes and content, high-quality writing, directing and acting. Sister channels FXM and FXX were launched in 1994 and 2013, respectively. FX also carries reruns of theatrical films and terrestrial-network sitcoms. Advertising-free content was available through the FX+ premium subscription service until it was shut down on August 21, 2019.
NBCUniversal Media, LLC is an American mass media and entertainment conglomerate owned by Comcast and headquartered at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, United States.
ABC Signature is an American television production studio under the Disney Television Studios unit of Walt Disney Television that was named in 2020. The studio is the production arm of the ABC television network, and originally started in 1950 as the television unit of Walt Disney Productions, later Walt Disney Television in 1985, and launched a subsidiary, the first incarnation of Touchstone Television, established in 1985 and renamed ABC Studios in 2007. It adopted its current identity on August 10, 2020, following a merger between ABC Studios and the original ABC Signature Studios.
The original incarnation of Walt Disney Television was the name of the American television production division of The Walt Disney Company.
Hulu is an American subscription video on demand over the top streaming service owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company and Comcast.
Disney Television Animation (DTVA) is an American animation studio that creates, develops and produces animated television series, films, specials and other projects. It is the television animation production arm of Disney General Entertainment Content's Disney Branded Television, which is ultimately owned by The Walt Disney Company.
Super RTL is a German free-to-air television network owned by the RTL Group. The channel originally launched in 1995 as a joint venture between RTL Group predecessor company CLT-UFA and Disney's Buena Vista International Television Investments division.
The second incarnation of Touchstone Television was an American television production company that is a subsidiary of Disney Media Networks' Walt Disney Television owned by The Walt Disney Company. It was founded in 2014 from the merger of Fox Television Studios and Fox 21, and given its second name in mid-2020 following the acquisition of 21st Century Fox by Disney.
Disney Branded Television is a unit of Disney General Entertainment Content which oversees development and production of content geared towards kids, teens and families for Disney+, Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD. Headed by the former Disney Channels Worldwide President/CCO, Gary Marsh, the unit also oversees all Disney+ and Disney Channels unscripted series and specials.
ABC Family Worldwide is a subsidiary of Walt Disney Television that is responsible for the operations of the U.S. cable network Freeform and the Canadian cable network ABC Spark.
Anne Marie Sweeney is an American business woman. She was formerly the co-chair of Disney Media, President of the Disney–ABC Television Group, and the President of Disney Channel from 1996 to 2014.
Disney Platform Distribution is a business unit within Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution (DMED) that manages all third-party media sales efforts for distribution, affiliate marketing and affiliate-related business operations for all of the Company's direct-to-consumer services and linear media networks; content sales agreements for General Entertainment, Studios and Sports; as well as global theatrical film distribution; management of the El Capitan Theatre and the Disney Music Group.
Fox Networks Group (FNG) is a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company that oversees international television assets that were acquired from 21st Century Fox. It produces and distributes more than 300 entertainment, film, sports and factual channels in 45 languages across Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia, using several brands, including Fox, National Geographic, FX, Fox Sports, and BabyTV. Among their non-linear brands were Fox Play and Fox Plus. These brands reached over 1.725 billion households around the world.
The Walt Disney Company France, formerly Buena Vista International France, is one of The Walt Disney Company's international divisions and also European divisions. It is headquartered in Paris, Île-de-France.
Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc., doing business as 21st Century Fox (21CF), was an American multinational mass media corporation that was based in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. It was one of the two companies formed from the 2013 spin-off of the publishing assets of News Corporation, as founded by Rupert Murdoch in 1980.
The acquisition of 21st Century Fox by Disney was held from December 14, 2017 to March 20, 2019. Among other key assets, the acquisition of 21st Century Fox by Disney included the 20th Century Fox film and television studios, U.S. cable/satellite channels such as FX, Fox Networks Group, a 73% stake in National Geographic Partners, Indian television broadcaster Star India, and a 30% stake in Hulu. Immediately preceding the acquisition, 21st Century Fox spun off the Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox Television Stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business, FS1, FS2, Fox Deportes, and the Big Ten Network into the newly formed Fox Corporation.
Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International (DTCI) was a business segment and division of The Walt Disney Company consisting of Disney's streaming services and overseas media businesses, formed in March 2018. As part of the segment's formation, Disney Streaming Services was placed under Direct-to-Consumer & International.
In appointing Mr. Iger as Disney's president and chief operating officer, Mr. Eisner sent a clear signal that he viewed the 48-year-old chairman of the Disney-owned ABC Group as a potential heir running the Disney empire.
Disney Channels Worldwide includes over 100 channels available in 34 languages and 166 countries/territories. Branded channels include Disney Channel, Disney Junior , Disney XD, Disney Cinemagic, Hungama and DLife.
|title=(help)|date=February 1995 |journal=CD-ROM Today |volume=3 |issue=2 |pages=26}}