Freeform is an American cable and satellite television channel that is owned by the Disney–ABC Television Group division of The Walt Disney Company. Freeform primarily broadcasts programming geared toward teenagers and young adults – with some programming skewing toward young women – in the 14-34 age range, a target demographic designated by the channel as "becomers". Its programming includes contemporary off-network syndicated reruns and original series, feature films, and made-for-TV original movies.
Since the network was launched on April 29, 1977, it has undergone various changes to its programming format and naming under its four different owners; the network was founded as the CBN Satellite Service, an extension of televangelist Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network. It evolved into a family-focused entertainment network in 1981, and was spun-off into a for-profit company known as International Family Entertainment (IFE) in 1990, eventually becoming known as The Family Channel. As a condition of this spin-off, the network has, to this day, been contractually required to broadcast certain religious programs produced by CBN, including The 700 Club and an annual telethon.
In 1997, IFE and The Family Channel were acquired by a joint venture between News Corporation and Saban Entertainment, resulting in its re-branding as the Fox Family Channel. The new owners sought to re-position the network towards younger viewers as a companion for their popular Fox Kids programming block. After the network began to struggle as a result of their changes, the venture was sold to Disney in May 2001, in a sale that also included Saban; the channel altered its name to ABC Family six months later on November 10. On October 6, 2015, Disney–ABC Television Group announced that the network would rebrand as Freeform, officially adopting that name on January 12, 2016.
As of January 2016, Freeform is available to 92.0 million households in the United States.