Worldvision Enterprises


Worldvision Enterprises

Worldvision Enterprises, Inc. was a television program and home video distributor established in 1962 as ABC Films, the syndication arm of the ABC Television Network. They primarily licensed programs from others, rather than producing their own content.

History

The company was created in 1962 by American Broadcasting Company (ABC) as ABC Films.

In 1971, as a result of the fin-syn rules, the FCC barred the participation of networks in the syndication of their own programs. ABC Films was spun off and renamed Worldvision in early 1973.

Their home video division released numerous Hanna-Barbera titles and Jack Nicklaus' "Golf My Way" instructional video series.cite book|last=Barbera|first=Joseph|title=My Life in "Toons": From Flatbush to Bedrock in Under a Century|year=1994|publisher=Turner Publishing|location=Atlanta, GA|isbn= 1-57036-042-1|pages=191-192] They were also responsible for the television distribution of a majority of the Carolco Pictures feature film library (inherited from Orbis Communications, which was a division of Carolco before the studio went bankrupt).

Worldvision has been owned by many companies over the years. The growth of its home video division was primarily under the ownership of Taft Broadcasting in the 1980s. In 1991, Great American Broadcasting, the successor to Taft, sold Worldvision to Spelling Entertainment Group.

Shortly thereafter, Aaron Spelling consolidated his companies, and Worldvision as a wholly functioning unit ceased to exist and became absorbed into Republic Pictures, although Worldvision as a distribution unit continued for many years after until Spelling/Republic merged with Viacom (which too started as a syndication arm of a television network-in this case CBS) in 1999- that year is considered to be an eventful one for the media conglomerate, as it also featured the acquisition of former parent CBS.

hows distributed by Worldvision

Some television shows distributed by Worldvision over the years include the Hanna-Barbera ("The Smurfs", "Jonny Quest", "Scooby-Doo") and the Ruby-Spears library ("Mr. T", "The Centurions"), "Casper the Friendly Ghost" (which has reverted to Classic Media), the pre-1973 NBC library (including "Little House on the Prairie", "The High Chaparral", "Bonanza" and "Concentration"Fact|date=June 2008), "Let's Make a Deal", "I Married Joan", "Happily Ever After", "Get Smart...Again!", "Dark Shadows", "Judge Judy", "Judge Joe Brown", the Aaron Spelling ("Twin Peaks", "The Love Boat". "Beverly Hills 90210", etc.) and Quinn Martin libraries (including "The Fugitive" and "The Streets of San Francisco", but not including "The F.B.I." and "Banyon", both of which are controlled by the Martin Trust and Warner Bros.), the pre-1973 ABC library (including "Combat!") and hundreds more.

Worldvision's library today

Today, ownership of Worldvision's library is in the hands of different companies. The Hanna-Barbera library and most Ruby-Spears material are now owned by Time Warner, and syndicated by Warner Bros. Television Distribution (previously Telepictures). Time Warner had inherited the rights to these libraries after purchasing Turner Broadcasting System in 1996. TBS, in turn, had purchased Hanna-Barbera and most of the Ruby-Spears library in 1990. These libraries were used (along with the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and pre-1948 Warner Bros. animated libraries, as well as the Fleischer/Famous "Popeye" cartoons, which were also owned by Turner at the time) to launch Cartoon Network.

Ownership of the rest of the library is held by CBS Paramount Television (now the co-rights holder to Republic's TV library), with the company's syndication arm handling distribution.

Most of the Worldvision library has also been released on DVD via different companies, depending on the content and individual underlying rights. For example:
*Lions Gate now holds North American home video rights to "Little House on the Prairie", a former Worldvision property now issued on DVD under license from NBC Universal. Lions Gate acquired the rights from Imvision/Goldhil Home Video. Outside the US, Universal Studios Home Entertainment distributes the series on DVD.
*CBS Home Entertainment handles the video rights to the TV shows from Aaron Spelling (excepting certain shows owned by Sony Pictures Television), Quinn Martin (with few exceptions), and Republic (including some pre-1973 NBC shows).
*Image Entertainment holds video rights to "Combat!", another former Worldvision property whose underlying rights are held by Selmur Productions/CBS Television Distribution while Disney-ABC International Television owns international television rights.
*DVD rights to "Get Smart" are owned by HBO, who owns ancillary rights to the series, though it can only be ordered via Time-Life at the moment. (HBO is also owned by Time Warner, which was once the parent of Time-Life as well).
*DVD rights to "George of the Jungle" are owned by Classic Media, who also owns ancillary rights - DVD distribution is handled by Genius Products, which is 70% owned by The Weinstein Company.
*DVD rights to "Milton the Monster" are owned by Shout! Factory.
*Most of the Hanna-Barbera shows are distributed on DVD by Warner Home Video, which also holds rights to a number of Ruby-Spears shows (but has not released any of those shows on DVD). Some Ruby-Spears productions have their DVD rights owned by other companies - for example, "Rambo and the Forces of Freedom" is distributed on DVD by Lions Gate because of their ongoing output deal with current rights holder StudioCanal, which acquired the cartoon's co-producer Carolco (this deal also includes the DVD rights to the "Rambo" films, which were also produced by Carolco).
*DVD rights to "Happily Ever After" (which Worldvision distributed on video in 1994) are owned by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Worldvision vs. World Vision

The company's logo, as it appeared at the end of the programs it distributed, carried the following disclaimer: "Not affiliated with World Vision International, a religious and charitable organization." This was due to that fact that, in the mid-1970s, the charity sued the syndicator for its use of the "Worldvision" name. They eventually settled, with Worldvision allowed to continue using the name for the syndication company, provided that a disclaimer was included to distance themselves from World Vision International, which has been implemented since 1974.

References

External links

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