Satellite News Channel

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Satellite News Channel
Satellite News Channel old logo
Launched June 21, 1982
Closed October 27, 1983
Owned by ABC
Westinghouse Broadcasting (Group W)
Slogan "Give us 18 minutes, we'll give you the world."
Country United States

Satellite News Channel (SNC) was a joint venture of the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) and Westinghouse Broadcasting (Group W). Designed as a satellite-delivered cable TV network, SNC used footage from ABC News and seven Washington DC based crews, in addition to stories from other overseas networks to provide a rotating newscast every 20 minutes. The channel is best remembered as the first 24-hour news cable competition to CNN. SNC, was based in the New York City suburb of Stamford, Connecticut.[1]

SNC's slogan, derived from Group W's experience in all-news radio, was "Give us 18 minutes, we'll give you the world."[2]

At launch, Satellite News Channel was provided with compensation to cable operators, contrary to then standard of charging a per subscriber fee.[3] The format is a 18 minute long with time for a regional cut away.[4]


With Group W Satellite Communications, ABC Video Enterprise formed the Satellite News Channel in 1981.[5] The channel was announced as the News-Channel on August 12, 1981 to be launched in early 1982. CNN's Ted Turner then announced the in planning CNN2, which had a similar format, as a preemptive strike against the ABC/Group W venture. CNN2 was operational on January 1, 1982.[4]

Satellite News Channel was on the air from June 21, 1982. During that time, it provided competition for Turner Broadcasting's CNN, the first such network at the time to do so.[citation needed] The channel was on the air for 16 months.[6]

SNC, however, had difficulty getting clearance from cable systems.[6] It was eventually bought by Turner Broadcasting System, CNN's parent[5] and shut down; on most local cable systems it was replaced by either CNN or CNN Headline News (which had changed its name from CNN2 shortly after SNC's launch in 1982).

After the closure – successor channels[edit]

For a brief time after SNC shut down, its theme music was used by fellow-Connecticut cable network ESPN.

In 1996, ABC revealed plans to launch a 24-hour news channel, however discontinued them after Fox News Channel and MSNBC were announced.[6]

In 2004, ABC News returned to the 24-hour news market with ABC News Now. The channel began as a digital subchannel but was later moved to cable. However that channel like SNC received little cable and satellite carriage, only being available on regional cable systems and Sprint's mobile devices. After nine years in operation, it was shut down.

In 2013 ABC News partnered with Univision Communications to launch Fusion, a new cable news channel focused on a Hispanic audience with shows skewed to a younger demographic which also includes satire and entertainment programs. The channel went live on October 28, 2013. The channel is ABC's third attempt at a cable news channel and their second partnership on one, the first since SNC. As far as distribution, Fusion has fared much better in respects to carriage than its two predecessors, securing both major satellite carriers and major cable operators in markets like New York City.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Slocum, Bill (June 15, 1997). "Cable TV Finds A Stamford Home". New York Times. Retrieved September 12, 2016. 
  2. ^ One-Two Punch,, August 24, 1981, retrieved July 30, 2006 
  3. ^ "Cable TV becoming "gold mine' industry". Sunday Star-News (Vol. 52 No. 37). N.Y. Times News Service. May 16, 1982. p. 4B. Retrieved September 12, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b Clark, Kenneth R. (August 21, 1981). "Ted Turner responds to network challenge". Ellensburg Daily Record (Vol. 80 No. 198). UPI. p. 13. Retrieved September 12, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b Harrigan, Kathryn Rudie (January 1, 1985). Joint Ventures, Alliances, and Corporate Strategy (reprint ed.). Beard Books. pp. 169–170. ISBN 1587981955. Retrieved April 13, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c Ariens, Chris (May 7, 2012). "ABC News and Univision to Launch 24-Hour News Channel". TVNewser. Ad Week Network. Retrieved September 12, 2016. 

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