The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) is an American commercial broadcast television network. It is the flagship property of the ABC Entertainment Group division 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.
Since 2007, when ABC Radio (also known as Cumulus Media Networks) was sold to Citadel Broadcasting, ABC has reduced its broadcasting operations almost exclusively to television. It is the fifth-oldest major broadcasting network in the world and the youngest of the American Big Three television networks. The network is sometimes referred to as the Alphabet Network, as its initialism also represents the first three letters of the English alphabet, in order.
ABC launched as a radio network in 1943, as the successor to the NBC Blue Network, which had been purchased by Edward J. Noble. It extended its operations to television in 1948, following in the footsteps of established broadcast networks CBS and NBC, as well as the lesser-known DuMont. In the mid-1950s, ABC merged with United Paramount Theatres (UPT), a chain of movie theaters that formerly operated as a subsidiary of Paramount Pictures. Leonard Goldenson, who had been the head of UPT, made the new television network profitable by helping develop and greenlighting many successful series. In the 1980s, after purchasing an 80 percent interest in cable sports channel ESPN, the network's corporate parent, American Broadcasting Companies, Inc., merged with Capital Cities Communications, owner of several print publications, and television and radio stations. Most of Capital Cities/ABC's assets were purchased by Disney in 1995.
ABC has eight owned-and-operated and more than 230 affiliated television stations throughout the United States and its territories. Some ABC-affiliated stations can also be seen in Canada via pay-television providers, and certain other affiliates can also be received over-the-air in areas near the Canada–United States border, although most of its prime time programming is subject to simultaneous substitution regulations for pay television providers imposed by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to protect rights held by domestically based networks. ABC News provides news and features content for select radio stations owned by Cumulus Media, as these stations are former ABC Radio properties.
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