A+E Networks

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A&E Television Networks, LLC
Type Joint Venture
Industry Mass media
Founded 1984
Headquarters 235 E 45th St
New York City, NY,
United States 10017
Key people Ms. Nancy Dubuc (CEO)[1]
Products Home video
Services Broadcasting & Cable TV
Owner(s) Hearst Corporation (50%)
Disney–ABC Television Group (50%)[2]
Divisions A+E Networks International
A+E Networks Consumer Products
A+E Studios
Website aenetworks.com

A&E Television Networks, LLC (DBA A+E Networks and formerly also known as AETN) is an American media company that owns a group of television channels available via cable & satellite in the US and abroad. A&E stands for Arts & Entertainment.[3] The company is a joint venture between Hearst Corporation and Disney-ABC Television Group, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company.

History and Ownership[edit]

Arts & Entertainment Network[edit]

A&E was formed from the merger of ARTS and the Entertainment Channel, a premium cable channel, in 1984 with their respective owners keeping stakes in the new company. Thus A&E's shareholders were Hearst & ABC (from ARTS) and Radio City Music Hall (Rockefeller Group) and RCA, then the parent of NBC (from Entertainment Channel). The company launched Arts & Entertainment Network, a cultural cable channel, on February 1, 1984.[3][4]

In fall 1987, A&E began showing the 1960s series, 'Biography' once-a-week in prime-time, which led the network to purchase the Biography trademark and library and order the commissioning of new 'Biography' episodes beginning in 1990. In 1991, the company launched the A&E Monthly general entertainment magazine, which had a program guide.[3]

The company indicated that plans for a history channel were in the works in 1993 and purchased the Lou Reda Productions documentary library and long term rights for the Hearst Entertainment documentaries archive.[3] In June 1993, the Rockefeller Group's Radio City Music Hall sold its 12.5% stake in A&E to the other three partners (now including NBC in place of RCA) with NBC owning 25% and the other two 37.5% each.[4] Also that month, a new production unit was set up.[3]

A&E Networks[edit]

The A&E channel expanded to Canada, and later Mexico from 1993 to 1994. 'Biography' began airing 5 nights a week in 1994. Also in 1994, A&E, on its 10th anniversary, changed its name from Arts and Entertainment to A&E.[3]

The A&E company launched The History Channel (THC) on January 1, 1995 with its U.K. counterpart following on November 1 in partnership with British Sky Broadcasting. A&E Networks considered THC to be the driver in international expansion due to lack of international rights to A&E international co-productions. As expected, the History Channel led A&E's overseas expansion in Brazil with TVA (April 1996), the Nordic and Baltic regions with Modern Times Group (1997) and in Canada (1997).[3]

Formerly only direct sales, A&E Home Video initiated a six month trial in which Barnes & Noble would sell the "Biography" line in stores and becoming permanent in 1996. THC debut in two other medias in September 1996 with a program on ABC Radio Networks and Border Books stocking THC videos.[3]

The 'Biography' franchise continued to expand with a website in July 1996, a children's version launched in fall 1996, an audio tape line in 1997, telefilm development, a Crown published short biography line and debuted its magazine which replaced A&E Monthly. During the 1998-1999 season, "Biography: American Justice" and "Biography Movies" debuted.[3]

THC expanded into tours in 1998 to US landmarks with Mayflower Tours with a related website, historytravel.com, and a show, "History Channel Traveler" plus planned a quarterly magazine. While in October, THC and Madison Square Garden Network teamed up to produce several short-form sports history programs.[3]

A&E spun out its first two digital cable channels in November 1998 with The Biography Channel and History Channel International from A&E and The History Channel. A&E was spending $10 million per year to convert to the digital format and for digital distribution.[3]

Lifetime merger[edit]

In August 2009, A&E Networks acquired Lifetime Entertainment Services. The new ownership ratio became Disney-ABC TV Group and Hearst both with 43% and NBCUniversal 16% with an agreement in place that allows NBCU to sell its share to Disney-ABC and Hearst over the next 15 years.[1][5] 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.[2]

In August 2010, A+E and Network 18 Group formed a joint venture (49/51%), AETN-18 India, which would first launch the History and Bio channels in India.[6]

With an early June 2013 promotion to A&E Networks CEO, Nancy Dubuc launched a new in-house production unit, A+E Studios, and created three new executive vice president and general managers to manage History/H2, A&E and Lifetime and a president for Bio and LMN.[7]


Channels from A+E Networks include:

A+E Networks International[edit]

A+E Networks International is the international division of A+E Networks, which handles international operations outside the U.S., mostly through joint ventures. A&E is an associate member of: the Caribbean Cable & Telecommunications Association[8] and the Caribbean Cable Cooperative.[9]

A+E Networks UK[edit]

A+E Networks UK is a joint venture of A&E Television Networks and British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) through the Sky Ventures division. Previously it operated under the names The History Channel UK and AETN UK.[10][11] A+E Networks UK operates channels throughout the European region, as well as the Middle East and Africa.

A+E Networks Asia[edit]

A+E Networks Asia was formed on April 2007 through a joint venture between A&E Television Networks and Malaysia's pay TV provider Astro. Headquartered in Singapore, A+E Networks Asia also has operations in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.[12] AAAN currently operates four channels in the Asian region.

In 2009, AETN Asia Networks struck a US$800,000 co-production deal with the National Film Development Corporation of Malaysia to co-produce programmes to be featured across its channels.[13] It has recently hired SPE Networks as a regional ad sales representative across the South East Asian region.[14]

A+E Networks Home Entertainment[edit]

A+E Networks Home Entertainment is the home entertainment division of A+E Networks. It creates and distributes content from A+E Networks' channels included A&E, Biography & History branded products. It also distributes content it has acquired the rights to including hit American TV series, British comedies, cult TV and sports programming.


  1. ^ a b c A&E Acquires Lifetime, Variety.com, August 27, 2009
  2. ^ a b Goldsmith, Jill (July 10, 2012). "Comcast to sell A&E stake for $3 billion: A&E to redeem the 15.8% stake". Variety. Retrieved July 11, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k A & E Television Networks History. International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 32. St. James Press, 2000. Hosted on Funding Universe.com. Retrieved on December 4, 2013.
  4. ^ a b Dempsey, John. (June 16, 1993) ABC, NBC & Hearst buy up rest of A&E. Variety. Accessed on December 5, 2013.
  5. ^ A&E Networks, Lifetime Merger Completed, Broadcasting & Cable, August 27, 2009
  6. ^ "AETN forms alliance in India". Variety. August 4, 2010. Retrieved December 6, 2013. 
  7. ^ Rose, Lacey (June 3, 2013). "A&E Executive Shuffle: DeBitetto to Run In-House Studio, New GMs at A&E, Lifetime, History". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 5, 2013. 
  8. ^ Members of the Caribbean Cable & Telecommunications Association
  9. ^ Member channels of the Caribbean Cable Cooperative
  10. ^ "The History Channel UK Changes Name to AETN UK". AETN International. July 2, 2009. 
  11. ^ "AETN UK rebrands as A+E Networks UK". Broadband TV News. September 22, 2011. 
  12. ^ Aetninternational.com
  13. ^ Brandrepublic.asia
  14. ^ Flornida South East Asian Network

External links[edit]