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The sale gave Disney control of the Fox Family Channel, the Saban Entertainment library and the international Fox Kids cable networks controlled by Fox Family Worldwide, among other assets.Analysts felt that Disney's purchase of Fox Family Worldwide was influenced by the ongoing consolidation occurring in the media industry, such as the then-recently completed merger of AOL and Time Warner, and a desire to acquire a new television outlet that had heavy viewer penetration – at the time of the purchase, the network was seen in 83 million homes.The channel changed its name to the CBN Cable Network on September 1, 1981, and adopted a more secular programming format featuring a mix of recent and classic family-oriented series and films while retaining some religious programs from various televangelists (mirroring the format used by CBN's independent television stations of that time).By this point, its carriage grew to 10.9 million homes with a cable television subscription.On January 8 of that year, CBN spun out the network into a new, for-profit corporation known as International Family Entertainment (IFE). Following the spin-off, the channel's name was officially shortened to The Family Channel on September 15, 1990.Managed by Pat Robertson's eldest son Timothy, IFE was co-owned by the Robertsons, with a minority interest held by Liberty Media and Tele-Communications Inc. As The Family Channel, it attracted a slightly older (and religious) audience that is not sought by advertisers; only about one-third of homes with television viewers that watched the network included children or youths among its audience.If you've got a short fake fur, you can cut into it and paint into it and create a similar look without going into the extent of braiding it and cutting every single piece," she says."If you get a fake fur with a dark base and light hair on the end, when you cut in, you actually get the lovely look.
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.
In 1997, after International Family Entertainment put The Family Channel up for sale, News Corporation made an offer to acquire the channel.
The company wanted to use The Family Channel to serve as a cable outlet for the library of children's programs it owned and broadcast as part of the Fox Broadcasting Company's Fox Kids lineup, then owned by a joint venture of News Corporation and television production company Saban Entertainment, so it could compete against established children's cable channels, such as Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network.
When Fox Family Worldwide bought the channel, the management team assigned to the network (headed by newly appointed president and chief executive officer Rich Cronin) sought to re-program it towards a new dual audience – kids in daytime, families at night.
Notable programs aired during this era included S Club 7 in Miami—a sitcom serving as a starring vehicle for the eponymous British pop group, and Big Wolf on Campus.
Since the network was launched in April 1977, it has undergone various changes to its on-air identity – having changed its name seven different times, the most of any American television network – and programming over the course of its history.