|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
|Predecessors||Silver King Broadcasting (1986-1998)|
|Defunct||January 14, 2002|
|Headquarters||Newark, New Jersey|
|Area served||United States (Nationwide)|
|Key people||Lowell "Bud" Paxson, Roy Speer (former Silver King Owners), and Barry Diller|
USAB dates back to the mid-1990s when Diller purchased Silver King Broadcasting and its parent company, Home Shopping Network, Inc., from Lowell W. "Bud" Paxson and Roy Speer. Paxson and Speer had assembled the group to expand Home Shopping Network onto broadcast television. The stations carried the Home Shopping Club (now America's Store). Home Shopping Network, Inc. later brought Universal's cable/TV production units, renaming them USA Networks, Inc., and its broadcast television subsidiary USA Broadcasting in 1998.
Diller planned to remove shopping shows from most of the stations' broadcast days and replace them with local and syndicated programs. He wanted to tie each of the stations very closely to the communities they served, and to open up opportunities for locally produced programs.
By 2000, four stations were transformed into Diller's new model: WAMI-TV (WAMI "Whammy" 69) in Miami, WHOT ("Hotlanta 34") in Atlanta, WHUB ("Hub" 66) in Boston, and KSTR ("K-Star" 49) in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. WAMI and KSTR aired local news, talk shows and sporting events. WHOT and WHUB broadcast syndicated programming as well as local sports. WAMI broadcast Miami Heat basketball and Florida Marlins baseball games. WHOT and KSTR also carried professional basketball games of, respectively, the Atlanta Hawks and Dallas Mavericks. WHUB acquired the rights to the annual Beanpot hockey tournament between four of Boston's colleges and also rights to Boston University's men's ice hockey games. HSC/America's Store continued to broadacst on late nights and weekends.
There were also plans to convert stations in New York (proposed callsign: WORX, "The Works"), Los Angeles (proposed callsign: KLIK, "Click") and Chicago (proposed callsign: WNDE, "Windy") to the new local-TV model. However, due to financial troubles in 2001, USAB had scrapped those plans and reduced programming on its existing independent stations. In the same year, Diller suddenly put the entire station roster up for sale. Disney/ABC and Univision were the companies in the running to buy the stations, but Univision outbid Disney in a close race. In August 2001, Univision purchased the stations and converted them into Spanish language outlets. Some affiliated with Univision, but most joined its new sister network, Telefutura (now UniMás), which was launched in January 2002. Diller still owns HSN and other interactive and shopping services such as TicketMaster and Expedia.com.
Silver King/USAB also briefly owned four Fox affiliate stations: WLUK (Green Bay, Wisconsin), KHON (Honolulu, Hawaii), WALA (Mobile, Alabama), and WVUE (New Orleans, Louisiana). That ownership was between 1996 through 1998, before the four stations were sold to Emmis Communications. Emmis eventually departed from television ownership and resold the stations to other parties, including LIN Television and in WVUE's case, a group led by the owner of the New Orleans Saints, Tom Benson.
Stations owned by USA Broadcasting
|New York||WHSI 67
|Los Angeles||KHSC 46||KFTR||UniMás|
|San Francisco-Oakland||KPST 66||KFSF||UniMás|
|Dallas-Fort Worth||KSTR 49
|Tampa-St. Petersburg||WBHS 50||WFTT||UniMás|
|Miami-Fort Lauderdale||WAMI 69