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This Day In Market History: Disney Buys ABC

This Day In Market History: Disney Buys ABC

Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that occurred on this date.

What Happened? On this day in 1995, Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS) acquired Capital Cities/ABC Inc. for $19 billion.

Where The Market Was: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 4,715 and the S&P 500 traded at 562.

What Else Was Going On In The World? In 1995, Michael Jordan returned to the NBA after a brief retirement to play professional baseball. The New York Times and Washington Post published the Unibomber’s manifesto, which was 35,000 words in length. The average price of a new house was $113,150.

Media Mega-Merger: ABC started as a radio network way back in 1943, but it had grown into a media giant by the 1990s. When Disney acquired Capital Cities/ABC Inc. in 1995, it took control of the ABC network, 10 television stations, 21 radio stations, an 80 percent ownership stake of ESPN and ownership stakes in various other TV channels and magazine and newspaper properties.

As of 2016, ABC had eight owned-and-operated TV stations and more than 232 U.S. affiliates.

Disney is still expanding its media empire to this day, with its recent $71 billion buyout of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (NASDAQ: FOXA). Disney has also launched its own direct-to-consumer ESPN streaming service, as well as TV and movie streaming service Disney+ in 2019.

Photo credit: Jim.henderson, from Wikimedia Commons


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