Freeform (TV channel)

Freeform
Logo used since September 12, 2022
CountryUnited States
Broadcast areaNationwide
HeadquartersBurbank, California
Programming
Language(s)English
Spanish (via SAP audio track)
Picture format
Ownership
Owner
ParentABC Family Worldwide
Sister channels
History
LaunchedApril 29, 1977 (1977-04-29)
Former names
  • CBN Satellite Service/CBN Satellite Network (1977–1981)
  • CBN Cable Network (1981–1988)
  • The CBN Family Channel (1988–1990)
  • The Family Channel (1990–1998)
  • Fox Family Channel (1998–2001)
  • ABC Family (2001–2016)
Links
Websitefreeform.com
Availability
Streaming media
Streaming servicesYouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, FuboTV, Vidgo, DirecTV Stream

Freeform is an American basic cable channel owned and operated by ABC Family Worldwide, a sub-division of the Disney Entertainment business segment and division of the Walt Disney Company. Freeform primarily broadcasts programming geared toward teenagers and young adults – with some skewing toward young women – in the 14–34 age range, a target demographic designated by the channel as "becomers". Its programming includes contemporary off-network syndicated reruns and original series, feature films, and made-for-TV original movies.

Since the network was launched on April 29, 1977, it has undergone various changes to its programming format and naming under 4 different owners. The network was originally founded as a religious channel, the CBN Satellite Service—an extension of televangelist Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network. It evolved into a family-focused entertainment network in 1981. It was spun off into a for-profit company known as International Family Entertainment (IFE) in 1990, eventually becoming known as The Family Channel. As a condition of the spin-off, the channel was contractually required to maintain airings of The 700 Club and an annual telethon the last Sunday in January; these conditions have applied to all future owners of the channel.

In 1997, IFE and the Family Channel were acquired by a joint venture between News Corporation and Haim Saban. This resulted in its rebranding as the Fox Family Channel a year later. The new owners wanted to reposition the network toward younger viewers as a companion for the unpopular Fox Kids Network. The venture was sold to Disney in October 2001 after the network began to struggle as a result of their changes. The channel altered its name to ABC Family one month later on November 10.[1][2] The network was later rebranded as Freeform on January 12, 2016.[3][4][5]

As of September 2023, Freeform was available to more than 55 million households in the United States, according to Nielsen estimates.[6] The network's president reports to the chairman of Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment.

  1. ^ "News Corp. and Haim Saban Reach Agreement to Sell Fox Family Worldwide to Disney for $5.3 Billion". Saban Entertainment. July 23, 2001. Archived from the original on February 2, 2009. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
  2. ^ Carl DiOrio (October 24, 2001). "Fox Family costs Mouse less cheese in final deal". Variety. Reed Business Information. Archived from the original on September 4, 2017. Retrieved August 13, 2009.
  3. ^ Elizabeth Wagmeister (October 6, 2015). "ABC Family to Rebrand Network 'Freeform' in January". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on January 21, 2016. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
  4. ^ David Bauder (October 6, 2015). "ABC Family Changing Name To Freeform". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media. Associated Press. Archived from the original on June 25, 2018. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
  5. ^ Petski, Denise (December 10, 2015). "ABC Family Name-Change To Coincide With 'Pretty Little Liars' & 'Shadowhunters' Premieres". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 25, 2019. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  6. ^ Cite error: The named reference thr-break-bundle was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

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