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A+E Networks

A&E Television Networks, LLC
Joint venture Limited liability company
Industry Mass media
Founded 1984
Headquarters 235 E 45th St
New York City, New York,
United States 10017
Key people
Nancy Dubuc (CEO)[1]
Abbe Raven (Chairman)
Products Home video
Services Broadcasting & Cable TV
Owner Hearst Corporation (50%)
Disney–ABC Television Group (50%)[2]
Divisions A+E Networks International
A+E Networks Consumer Products
A+E Studios
A+E Networks Digital
Subsidiaries A+E Films
A&E Indie Films
A+E Networks Home Entertainment
Lifetime Entertainment Services

A&E Networks (stylized as A+E Networks) is an American media company that owns a group of television channels available via cable & satellite in the U.S. and abroad. A&E stands for Arts & Entertainment.[3] The company is a joint venture between Hearst Corporation and Disney-ABC Television Group, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company.


Arts and Entertainment

A&E was formed from the merger of ARTS and the Entertainment Channel, a premium cable channel, in 1984 with their respective owners keeping stakes in the new company. Thus A&E's shareholders were Hearst & ABC (from ARTS) and Radio City Music Hall (Rockefeller Group) and RCA, then the parent of NBC (from Entertainment Channel). The company launched Arts & Entertainment Network, a cultural cable channel, on February 1, 1984.[3][4]

In fall 1987, A&E began showing the 1960s series, 'Biography' once-a-week in prime-time, which led the network to purchase the Biography trademark and library and order the commissioning of new 'Biography' episodes beginning in 1990. In 1991, the company launched the A&E Monthly general entertainment magazine, which had a program guide.[3]

The company indicated that plans for a history channel were in the works in 1993 and purchased the Lou Reda Productions documentary library and long term rights for the Hearst Entertainment documentaries archive.[3] In June 1993, the Rockefeller Group's Radio City Music Hall sold its 12.5% stake in A&E to the other three partners (now including NBC in place of RCA) with NBC owning 25% and the other two 37.5% each.[4] Also that month, a new production unit was set up.[3]

A&E Networks

The A&E channel expanded to Canada, and later Mexico from 1993 to 1994. 'Biography' began airing 5 nights a week in 1994. Also in 1994, A&E, on its 10th anniversary, changed its name from Arts and Entertainment to A&E.[3]

The A&E company launched The History Channel (THC) on January 1, 1995 with its U.K. counterpart following on November 1 in partnership with British Sky Broadcasting. A&E Networks considered THC to be the driver in international expansion due to lack of international rights to A&E international co-productions. As expected, the History Channel led A&E's overseas expansion in Brazil with TVA (April 1996), the Nordic and Baltic regions with Modern Times Group (1997) and in Canada (1997).[3]

Formerly only direct sales, A&E Home Video initiated a six month trial in which Barnes & Noble would sell the "Biography" line in stores and becoming permanent in 1996. THC debut in two other medias in September 1996 with a program on ABC Radio Networks and Border Books stocking THC videos.[3]

The 'Biography' franchise continued to expand with a website in July 1996, a children's version launched in fall 1996, an audio tape line in 1997, telefilm development, a Crown published short biography line and debuted its magazine which replaced A&E Monthly. During the 1998-1999 season, "Biography: American Justice" and "Biography Movies" debuted.[3]

THC expanded into tours in 1998 to U.S. landmarks with Mayflower Tours with a related website,, and a show, "History Channel Traveler" plus planned a quarterly magazine. While in October, THC and Madison Square Garden Network teamed up to produce several short-form sports history programs.[3]

A+E spun out its first two digital cable channels in November 1998 with The Biography Channel and History Channel International from A&E and The History Channel. A&E was spending $10 million per year to convert to the digital format and for digital distribution.[3]

AETN All Asia Networks was formed on April 2007 through a joint venture between A&E Television Networks and Malaysia's pay TV provider Astro Overseas Limited.[5]

Post-Lifetime Entertainment merger

In August 2009, A&E TV Networks acquired Lifetime Entertainment Services, which at the time was jointly owned by Disney and Hearst, each with 50% ownership. Following the deal, Disney and Hearst each held approximately 42% of the combined company, while NBCUniversal retained approximately 16%. The deal included mechanisms by which NBCU could choose, or alternatively be forced to, exit the partnership over the subsequent 15 years.[1][6]

In August 2010, AETN and Network 18 Group formed a joint venture (49/51%), AETN-18 India, which would first launch the History and Bio channels in India.[7]

In May 2011, A&E Television Networks changed its brand name to A+E Networks. A&E dropped TV as their brands had move beyond just the TV channel, while keeping Networks being contemporary to similar companies. [8]

In July 2012, NBCUniversal confirmed plans to divest its 15.8% stake in A+E Networks by way of a share repurchase by A+E, making Disney and Hearst 50-50 partners in the joint venture.[2] In August 2012, A+E switch distribution for its original series and movies to Lionsgate from New Video Group.[9]

The Bio channel has been stagnating since before A+E’s 2013 upfront presentation as little focus was place upon it. For 2013, Bio was generating 12 cents per subscribers from the video providers which is half the industry average. After tweaking the three main A+E channels' focus, Bio averaged viewers of 91,000 adults 25-54 in prime compared to what A&E (716,000) and History (703,000) averaged over the same period.[10]

With an early June 2013 promotion to A&E Networks CEO, Nancy Dubuc launched a new in-house production unit, A+E Studios, and created three new executive vice president and general managers to manage History/H2, A&E and Lifetime and a president for Bio and LMN.[11] Dubic's priority was to revamp or turn around the various channels. With the Bio/LMN president Jana Bennett having changed TLC from a learning to a lifestyle programming was considered an indication that adding a lifestyle channel to the A+E portfolio was a possibility. An additional opening in the genre occurred as the Style channel became the men's channel, Esquire Network. Also not all international Bio channels or platforms will switch over to the FYI programming (for example, Bio. was rebranded as Lifetime in the UK and Latin America and as A&E in Europe and Africa).[12] In July 2013, A+E Networks bought out Astro Overseas's stake in AETN All Asia Networks and renamed it to A+E Networks Asia.[5]

On December 8 & 9, 2013, three A+E channels, Lifetime, A&E and History, simulcasted Bonnie & Clyde miniseries with each pulling in 3-3.7 million viewers for the first night for a total of 9.8 million viewers with Nielsen's SocialGuide rank it the most talked about non-sports subject and topped Google Trends.[13]

In December 2013, A+E Networks announced that The Biography Channel will be rebranded as FYI, a contemporary lifestyle network, on July 8, 2014.[14][15]

In August 2014, A+E took a 10% stake in Vice Media for $250 million. The company then announced in April 2015 that H2 would be rebrand into the Vice channel with an indicated early 2016 launch.[16]


A+E Networks own and operate ten television channels:

A+E Networks International

A+E Networks International is the international division of A+E Networks, which handles international operations outside the U.S., mostly through joint ventures. A&E is an associate member of: the Caribbean Cable & Telecommunications Association[17] and the Caribbean Cable Cooperative.[18]

A+E Networks UK

A+E Networks UK is a joint venture of A&E Television Networks and British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) through the Sky Ventures division. Previously it operated under the names The History Channel UK and AETN UK.[19][20] A+E Networks UK operates channels throughout the European region, as well as the Middle East and Africa.

A+E Networks Asia

A+E Networks Asia is A+E Network's Asia subsidiary operating six channels and is headquartered in Singapore[5] with an additional operation in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.[21]

AETN All Asia Networks (AAAN) was formed on April 2007 through a joint venture between A&E Television Networks and Malaysia's pay TV provider Astro Overseas Limited[5] to serve Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan markets. History and Crime & Investigation Network were launched in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Brunei on June 15, 2007 with the History Channel only in Thailand. A December launch was expect for the Philippines. In 2008, AAAN planned to launch The Biography Channel.[21]

In 2009, AETN Asia Networks struck a US$800,000 co-production deal with the National Film Development Corporation of Malaysia to co-produce programs to be featured across its channels.[22] It has recently hired SPE Networks as a regional ad sales representative across the South East Asian region.[23]

In late first half of 2013, All Asia Networks launched Lifetime and H2. In July, A+E Networks bought out Astro Overseas's stake in AETN All Asia Networks and renamed it to A+E Networks Asia.[5]

A+E Networks Home Entertainment

A+E Networks Home Entertainment is the home entertainment division of A+E Networks. It creates and distributes content from A+E Networks' channels included A&E, Biography & History branded products. It also distributes content it has acquired the rights to including hit American TV series, British comedies, cult TV and sports programming.

See also

  • ESPN Inc., which has the same ownership partners as A+E Networks


  1. ^ a b c A&E Acquires Lifetime,, August 27, 2009
  2. ^ a b Goldsmith, Jill (July 10, 2012). "Comcast to sell A&E stake for $3 billion: A&E to redeem the 15.8% stake". Variety. Retrieved July 11, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k A & E Television Networks History. International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 32. St. James Press, 2000. Hosted on Funding Retrieved on December 4, 2013.
  4. ^ a b Dempsey, John. (June 16, 1993) ABC, NBC & Hearst buy up rest of A&E. Variety. Accessed on December 5, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e Tartaglione, Nancy (July 11, 2013). "Global Showbiz Briefs: Kris Kristofferson Pic ‘Joe’s Mountain’ Gets Backers; A+E Nets Takes Over AETN All Asia; More". Deadline (PMC Media). Retrieved August 4, 2014. 
  6. ^ A&E Networks, Lifetime Merger Completed, Broadcasting & Cable, August 27, 2009
  7. ^ "AETN forms alliance in India". Variety. August 4, 2010. Retrieved December 6, 2013. 
  8. ^ Lafayette, Jon (May 2, 2011). "EXCLUSIVE: AETN Takes New Name -- A+E Networks -- And New Slogan". Broadcasting & Cable (NewBay Media, LLC.). Retrieved January 31, 2015. 
  9. ^ Lieberman, David (August 10, 2012). "Lionsgate Picks Up Distribution Rights For A&E Networks Home Videos". Deadline (PMC Media). Retrieved August 4, 2014. 
  10. ^ Thielman, Sam (December 11, 2013). "Bio to Rebrand as FYI, a 'Contemporary Lifestyle' Network". Ad Week. Retrieved July 7, 2014. 
  11. ^ Rose, Lacey (June 3, 2013). "A&E Executive Shuffle: DeBitetto to Run In-House Studio, New GMs at A&E, Lifetime, History". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 5, 2013. 
  12. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (December 11, 2013). "A+E Networks' Bio Renamed FYI As It Converts Into Lifestyle Network". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 12, 2013. 
  13. ^ Thielman, Sam (December 9, 2013). "Simulcast of Bonnie & Clyde Nabs 4.2 Million Demo Viewers". Ad Week. Retrieved July 7, 2014. 
  14. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (February 26, 2014). "FYI Greenlights Six Series and Two Pilots to Production". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 26, 2014. 
  15. ^ Bibel, Sara (December 11, 2013). "A+E Networks Rebranding Bio Channel as New Network 'FYI'". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 12, 2013. 
  16. ^ Atkinson, Claire (April 28, 2015). "Vice to get TV channel, replacing H2 on A&E Networks’ roster". NY Post (NYP Holdings, Inc.). Retrieved April 29, 2015. 
  17. ^ Members of the Caribbean Cable & Telecommunications Association
  18. ^ Member channels of the Caribbean Cable Cooperative
  19. ^ "The History Channel UK Changes Name to AETN UK". AETN International. July 2, 2009. 
  20. ^ "AETN UK rebrands as A+E Networks UK". Broadband TV News. September 22, 2011. 
  21. ^ a b "Bringing history to life: despite a relatively late start in Southeast Asia, Astro All Asia Networks has already gained significant ground and shares its marketing strategy with Television Asia". Television Asia (Highbeam). December 1, 2007. Retrieved August 4, 2014. 
  22. ^ "FINAS & AAAN co-production deal". Television Asia (HIghbeam). April 1, 2009. Retrieved August 4, 2014. 
  23. ^ Flornida South East Asian Network

External links

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