ABC Family Worldwide

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ABC Family Worldwide Inc.
Industry Television production
Predecessor TVS Entertainment
International Family Entertainment
Fox Kids Worldwide
Fox Family Worldwide
Founded 1990
Area served
Products ABC Family
Parent The Walt Disney Company

ABC Family Worldwide Inc. is a producer and distributor of family entertainment and information programming worldwide. The company is owned by The Walt Disney Company and was founded in 1990 by Pat Robertson as International Family Entertainment Inc. ABC Family Worldwide's principal business is ABC Family, a satellite delivered cable-television network. The company is located in Burbank, California.

An unusual provision of ownership is that Family Channel must air Pat Robertson's "700 Club" daily Christian program or ownership will revert to Robertson.


In 1977 Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) created CBN Cable.

In 1988 CBN Cable was renamed The CBN Family Channel, later The Family Channel.

In 1990 As The Family Channel was topping the ratings, Robertson decided to spin-off the network into a separate corporation, out of antitrust concerns that CBN was making too much revenue as a non-profit organization. International Family Entertainment, Inc. (IFE) was formed, with cable magnate John Malone owning a small stake.[1]

In 1993 IFE acquired TVS Entertainment (a former ITV franchise holder for the South of England) archive for $68.5 million, which included the MTM Enterprises library.[2]

In 1996 News Corporation's Fox Children's Productions, TCI's Liberty Media and Haim Saban's Saban Entertainment merged to form Fox Kids Worldwide, Inc.[3][4][5][6] Its 61% share in the UK channel was sold to Flextech giving them full control of the channel.[7] The deal also included Maidstone studios but Family channel held on to the TV archive which consisted of TVS Entertainment but more importantly MTM Enterprises' library.

On June 11, 1997 Fox Kids Worldwide, Inc. (FKW) acquired IFE,[8] a publicly held company listed on the New York Stock Exchange for $1.9 billion. FKW was renamed Fox Family Worldwide, Inc.[3][4][9] On August 15, 1998, The Family Channel was renamed Fox Family Channel.[10] The MTM archives were later folded into 20th Century Fox Television.

On October 24, 2001 The Walt Disney Company acquired Fox Family Worldwide for US$5.3 billion ($2.9 billion cash plus $2.3 billion in debt assumption). The company was renamed ABC Family Worldwide, Inc. and the channel was renamed ABC Family. The Fox Kids brand would remain in use for three more years.[3][4][11][12]

In 2004 Fox Kids was renamed Jetix.[13][14] In 2009 Jetix was renamed Disney XD.

In 2012 ABCFW takes operational control of Soapnet towards the start of March and begins programming the network with the dissolution of the ABC Daytime division and the slow discontinuation of that network to launch Disney Junior.


  1. ^ Interview with Pat Robertson. Archive of American Television (October 15, 2003).
  2. ^ Benson, Jim (Oct 6, 1992). "IFE forms syndie division for family shows". Variety. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  3. ^ a b c "Haim Saban". Saban. Retrieved 2009-05-31. 
  4. ^ a b c "Fox Family Worldwide Inc". Saban. Archived from the original on 21 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-31. 
  5. ^ Schneider, Michael; Grego, Melissa (September 9, 2001). "Fox Kids net adopted by Fox TV Ent.". Variety. Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  6. ^ Hillier, Barry (November 1, 1996). "Fox Kids Worldwide is born". Kidscreen. Retrieved November 21, 2010. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Robertson, Virginia (December 1, 1997). "Special Report: Family Programming: New relations: Fox keeping mum about plans for The Family Channel". Kidscreen. Retrieved November 21, 2010. 
  9. ^ Peers, Martin; Richmond, Ray; Levin, Gary (June 12, 1997). "Family affair for Fox Kids". Variety. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  10. ^ Katz, Richard (July 10, 1998). "Fox Family squeezes 'Club' in youthful sked". Variety. Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  11. ^ "News Corp. and Haim Saban Reach Agreement to Sell Fox Family Worldwide to Disney for $5.3 Billion". Saban. July 23, 2001. Archived from the original on 21 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-31. 
  12. ^ DiOrio, Carl (Oct 24, 2001). "Fox Family costs Mouse less cheese in final deal". Variety. Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  13. ^ Edmunds, Marlene (May 4, 2004). "Fox Kids arm jets new name Jetix". Variety. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  14. ^ Meza, Ed (Apr 28, 2005). "Jetix brand rolls on". Variety. Retrieved 2009-08-14.