Disney-ABC Domestic Television, also operating as ABC Syndication (formerly known as Buena Vista Television and also known as Disney Domestic Television), is the in-home sales and content distribution firm of the Disney-ABC Television Group, a division of The Walt Disney Company. Content distribution responsibilities include domestic television syndication, domestic pay TV, internet and cable video-on-demand (VOD), and pay-per-view outlets.
The company distributes first-run programming such as Live with Kelly and Michael, which is produced by Disney's O&O station WABC-TV. It also distributes the movie packages from corporate sibling Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures including all collaborations with subsidiary Pixar Animation Studios, Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, and Miramax Films.
ABC's first syndication arm, ABC Films (established in July 1953), was spun-off as Worldvision Enterprises in March 1973 due to fin-syn laws (which have since been repealed).
Buena Vista TelevisionEdit
Disney-ABC Domestic Television was established in 1985 as Buena Vista Television.
In April 1996 do to ongoing post Disney-CC/ABC merger realignment and retirement of its president, Walt Disney Television and Telecommunications group's divisions were reassigned to other groups. While BVTV, as a part of Walt Disney Television International, was transferred to Capital Cities/ABC.
As BVTV, DADT initially acted as a defacto syndication arm for ABC after Disney bought the network in 1996, since at the same time, ABC's original production division was folded into Touchstone Television. That company became ABC Studios in 2007, also as part of Disney's branding strategy. In between these transactions, Disney reorganized all its non-ESPN TV assets into the Disney-ABC Television Group in 2004, making BVTV the official syndication arm of ABC. It also ran 2,000.00 from 2008-2010. DADT also holds distribution rights to Muppet media since Disney bought the franchise in 2004 from The Jim Henson Company.
In March 2007, Starz Entertainment sued BVTV for breaching their agreement by allowing movies available online through Apple's iTunes Store and other outlets. The introduction of AppleTV device forced Starz to file suit which hinged on the "contractual definition of 'television.'" and whether complete TV exclusivity was granted.
Disney-ABC Domestic TelevisionEdit
In May 2007, the Walt Disney Company announced plans to semi-retire the use of the Buena Vista brand, instead focusing on the three core brands of Disney, ABC, and ESPN. As a result, Buena Vista Television was rebranded as Disney-ABC Domestic Television (DADT).
By July 2008, DADT signed additional carriage agreements with Vudu and CinemaNow which was then added to the Starz lawsuit. On December 2, 2008, DADT and Starz Entertainment settled their online distribution lawsuit with the terms undisclosed.