Double Play

ABC buys ESPN cable service

Cable television has been a money-consuming swamp for the companies that own the three major networks. CBS folded its cultural channel in 1982 after losing an estimated $30 million. RCA, the parent company of NBC, dropped $17 million on the Entertainment Channel before closing it last year. ABC and its partner, Westinghouse, gave up on their Satellite News venture last October, selling out to Turner Broadcasting System for $25 million. Despite all that, ABC last week plunged into the coaxial morass again with its biggest cable venture ever. The company paid $202 million for the U.S.'s most...

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