Video: A Network Blockbuster

Capital Cities will buy ABC for $3.5 billion

Jonah swallowed more than the whale last week. He also gulped down Dynasty, Hotel, Good Morning America, Monday Night Football, the 1988 Winter Olympics and Ted Koppel. It was as simple as, well, ABC. In the first purchase ever of a major television network, small and scrappy Capital Cities Communications (1984 revenues: less than $1 billion) of New York City agreed to buy the American Broadcasting Cos., which is almost four times its size. The price, $3.5 billion for ABC's 29.1 million common shares, made the acquisition the largest outside the oil industry in American corporate history. The razzle-dazzle play that...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!