|Headquarters||235 E 45th St
New York City, NY,
United States 10017
|Key people||Ms. Nancy Dubuc (CEO)|
|Services||Broadcasting & Cable TV|
|Owner(s)||Hearst Corporation (50%)
Disney–ABC Television Group (50%)
|Divisions||A+E Networks International
A+E Networks Consumer Products
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. The company is a joint venture between Hearst Corporation and Disney-ABC Television Group, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company.
History and Ownership
Arts & Entertainment Network
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.
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.
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. 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. Also that month, a new production unit was set up.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
Channels from A+E Networks include:
- Crime & Investigation Network
- History en Español
- Lifetime Real Women
- Military History
A+E Networks International
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 and the Caribbean Cable Cooperative.
A+E Networks UK
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. A+E Networks UK operates channels throughout the European region, as well as the Middle East and Africa.
A+E Networks Asia
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. 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. It has recently hired SPE Networks as a regional ad sales representative across the South East Asian region.
A+E Networks Home Entertainment
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.
- A&E Acquires Lifetime, Variety.com, August 27, 2009
- 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.
- 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.
- Dempsey, John. (June 16, 1993) ABC, NBC & Hearst buy up rest of A&E. Variety. Accessed on December 5, 2013.
- A&E Networks, Lifetime Merger Completed, Broadcasting & Cable, August 27, 2009
- "AETN forms alliance in India". Variety. August 4, 2010. Retrieved December 6, 2013.
- 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.
- Members of the Caribbean Cable & Telecommunications Association
- Member channels of the Caribbean Cable Cooperative
- "The History Channel UK Changes Name to AETN UK". AETN International. July 2, 2009.
- "AETN UK rebrands as A+E Networks UK". Broadband TV News. September 22, 2011.
- Flornida South East Asian Network