American Broadcasting Company – D23

American Broadcasting Company In 1954, Walt Disney agreed to produce a regular television series for the network, if they would help him out by investing in Disneyland. So, with a $500,000 investment and guarantee of an additional $4.5 million in loans, ABC became a one-third owner of Disneyland. The television series began in the Fall and Walt Disney was able to use it to help promote the park he was building in Anaheim. On July 17, 1955, ABC produced the largest live television broadcast to date, with the grand opening of the park. Disney remained on ABC until 1961; a year earlier they had bought out the ABC investment in Disneyland for $7.5 million. Four decades later, on July 31, 1995, Disney and Capital Cities/ABC announced a $19 billion merger of the two companies. After necessary government approvals, the merger was completed on February 9, 1996. With the deal, Disney acquired, among other enterprises, 9 VHF and 1 UHF television stations; 11 AM and 10 FM radio stations; a percentage of ESPN, The History Channel, A&E Network, and Lifetime Television; and a publishing group including 85 trade journals, 18 shopping guides, 2 consumer magazines, 21 weeklies, and 7 daily newspapers. Much of the publishing group was later sold. The ABC Radio stations were sold in 2006.