History Timeline of ABC

ABC has had quite an eventful history. Here is a timeline of all the important dates in its storied past.
1943
LifeSavers

ABC launches on October 12, 1943 as a radio network after Edward J. Noble of LifeSavers purchased the Blue Network from NBC for $8M. NBC was forced to sell following the Federal Communications Commission's decree that RCA divest itself of one of its two radio networks.

1948

ABC extends its operations to television, following in the footsteps of established broadcast networks CBS and NBC.

1953
United Paramount Theatres

United Paramount Theatres purchased ABC in exchange for $25 million in shares.

1954
Walt Disney's Disneyland

ABC launches a campaign ushering in the "New ABC", with productions from several studios, including MGM, Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox.

ABC agrees to finance Walt Disney's Disneyland in exchange for the right to broadcast a new Sunday night program called Disneyland

1956
Dumont

DuMont Television Network goes bankrupt and ABC finds itself as the third US TV network, dubbed the "little third network"

1959

Walt Disney Productions, having improved its financial situation, purchases ABC's shares in the Disneyland theme park for $7.5M.

1965

The corporate entity, American Broadcasting-Paramount Theatres, is renamed as the American Broadcasting Companies.

On December 7, 1965, Goldenson announces a merger with International Telephone & Telegraph and the two companies agree to the deal on April 27, 1966.

1968
ITT

The ITT merger is called off after the US DOJ expresses concern over the journalistic integrity of ABC and how it can be influenced by the overseas ownership of ITT.

1970
Monday Night Football

ABC debuts Monday Night Football

1984
ESPN

ABC's executives approves the 80% acquisition of ESPN from Getty Oil, while selling the remaining 20% to Nabisco.

1985

Capital Cities

On March 16, 1985, ABC's executive committee accepts Capital Cities merger offer, with Capital Cities purchasing ABC and its related properties for $3.5B.

1995
The Walt Disney Company

On July 31, 1995, The Walt Disney Company announces an agreement to merge with Capital Cities/ABC for $19B.

2004

ABC's average viewership declines, landing the network in fourth place, behind NBC, CBS and Fox.

2007
Citadel Broadcasting

The Walt Disney Company announces an agreement with Citadel Broadcasting to merge the ABC Radio Network with Citadel.

2016
ABC

ABC currently has 8 owned-and-operated and over 232 affiliated television stations throughout the United States and its territories.