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USA Broadcasting

USA Broadcasting
Subsidiary
IndustryBroadcast television
FateStations sold
PredecessorSilver King Broadcasting (1986-1998)
SuccessorUnivision Communications
Founded1986; 33 years ago (1986)
DefunctJanuary 14, 2002; 17 years ago (2002-01-14)
HeadquartersNewark, New Jersey
Area served
United States
Key people
Lowell "Bud" Paxson, Roy Speer (former Silver King Owners), and Barry Diller
ProductsBroadcast television
ParentUSA Networks, Inc.
Vivendi Universal Entertainment

USA Broadcasting (USAB) was an American television broadcasting company owned by the veteran entertainment industry executive Barry Diller. This company was the over-the-air broadcasting arm of USA Networks. Before founding USA Broadcasting, Diller was a helper in Gulf+Western's failed Paramount Television Service and News Corporation's new Fox Broadcasting Company that was launched on October 9, 1986.

USAB dates back on in 1995 when Diller purchased Silver King Broadcasting and its parent company, Home Shopping Network, Inc., from Lowell W. "Bud" Paxson and Roy Speer. Paxson and Speer had assembled the group to expand Home Shopping Network onto broadcast television. The stations carried the Home Shopping Club (now America's Store). Home Shopping Network, Inc. later brought Universal's television units from Seagram, renaming them USA Networks, Inc., and its broadcast television subsidiary USA Broadcasting in 1998.

Diller planned to remove shopping shows and infomercials from most of the stations' broadcast days and replace them with local and syndicated programs, including a few produced by sister production unit Studios USA that also aired nationally on USA Network. He wanted to tie each of the stations very closely to the communities they served, and to open up opportunities for locally produced programs. This format was dubbed "CityVision", and took heavy influence from the format used by CITY-TV in Toronto (and more prominently, that station's sister broadcast television properties that became charter stations of Citytv, when CHUM Limited expanded the format to other Canadian markets as a television system in 2002). Because of this, since USAN owns the flagship USA Network channel, CityVision can unofficially be considered as a "seventh television network".

By 2000, four stations were transformed into Diller's new model: WAMI-TV (WAMI "Whammy" 69) in Miami, WHOT ("Hotlanta 34") in Atlanta, WHUB ("Hub" 66) in Boston, and KSTR ("K-Star" 49) in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. WAMI and KSTR aired local news, talk shows and sporting events. WHOT and WHUB broadcast syndicated programming as well as local sports. WAMI broadcast Miami Heat basketball and Florida Marlins baseball games. WHOT and KSTR also carried professional basketball games of, respectively, the Atlanta Hawks and Dallas Mavericks. WHUB acquired the rights to the annual Beanpot hockey tournament between four of Boston's colleges and also rights to Boston University's men's ice hockey games. HSC/America's Store continues to broadcast late at night and on weekends.

There were also plans to convert stations in New York (proposed callsign: WORX, "The Works"), Los Angeles (proposed callsign: KLIK, "Click"), Chicago (proposed callsign: WNDE, "Windy") and Atlantic City (proposed callsign: WACY, "Wacky"), to the new local-TV model. However, due to financial troubles in 2000, USAB had scrapped those plans and reduced programming on its existing independent stations. In the summer of 2000, Diller suddenly put the entire station roster up for sale. Disney/ABC and Univision were the companies in the running to buy the stations, but Univision outbid Disney in a close race. On May 21, 2001, Univision purchased the stations and converted them into Spanish language outlets. Some affiliated with Univision, but most joined its new sister network, Telefutura (renamed UniMás in 2013), which was launched on January 14, 2002.

USA Networks eventually exited the television market by selling USA Network to Vinendi Universal Entertainment, a subsidiary of Vivendi Universal SA that owns Universal Studios, also in 2001, which in May 2004, sold Vivendi Universal's entertainment assets (excluding Universal Music Group) to General Electric, which later transferred its NBC (including another Spanish-language network Telemundo) assets to Vivendi Universal Entertainment, and later renamed it NBCUniversal, this marked USA Network's slight return to the broadcast industry as NBCU owns the flagship NBC network, and NBCU owns its own NBC and Telemundo stations. NBCUniversal is now owned by Comcast, after the latter half-acquired the percent of the company in 2011, and fully acquired it in 2013.

Other stations

Silver King/USAB briefly owned four Fox affiliate stations, formerly owned by SF Broadcasting: WLUK (Green Bay, Wisconsin), KHON (Honolulu, Hawaii), WALA (Mobile, Alabama), and WVUE (New Orleans, Louisiana). That ownership was between from November 27, 1995 until April 1, 1998, before the four stations were sold to Emmis Communications. Emmis eventually departed from television ownership and resold the stations to other parties, including LIN TV Corporation and in WVUE's case, a group led by the owner of the New Orleans Saints, Tom Benson in 2008.

Stations owned by USA Broadcasting

Logos of the stations USA Broadcasting converted to the CityVision format.
Market Station Now called Currently
New York WHSI 67
WHSE 68
WFTY 67
WFUT 68
UniMás
Los Angeles KHSC 46 KFTR UniMás
Chicago WEHS 60 WXFT UniMás
Philadelphia WHSP 65 WUVP Univision
Boston WHUB 66
(was WHSH)
WUTF UniMás
San Francisco-Oakland KPST 66 KFSF UniMás
Dallas-Fort Worth KSTR 49
(was KHSX)
KSTR-TV UniMás
Atlanta WHOT 34
(was WNGM)
WUVG Univision
Houston KHSH 67/61 KFTH UniMás
Tampa-St. Petersburg WBHS 50 WFTT UniMás
Cleveland WQHS 61 WQHS-TV Univision
Miami-Fort Lauderdale WAMI 69
(was WYHS)
WAMI UniMás
Melbourne-Orlando WBSF 43 WOTF UniMás