The American Broadcasting Company was formed in 1943, and its TV programming went on the air in 1948. Throughout the rest of the twentieth century, the network, along with NBC and CBS, was one of the "Big Three" American television networks. Together these three networks provided essentially all of the commercial television programming available to American viewers until the widespread availability of cable television near the end of the century.
These days, ABC and the other big broadcast networks occupy a very different position than they did during the pinnacle of their commercial success. Since 1996, ABC has been owned by the Walt Disney Company and is currently part of the Disney-ABC Television Group. ABC is still the largest broadcaster in the world by revenue, but it is part of a much more diverse, segmented TV market than it was just a few decades ago.
Despite the diminishing influence of broadcast networks, some of the most widely viewed series and individual programs are still produced by ABC and the other traditional networks, and the overall viewership of the most popular network shows still far outweighs the viewership of all but the most popular series on cable networks.
ABC and the other broadcast networks have adjusted to the changing marketplace by including the internet in their marketing strategies instead of focusing solely on broadcast and cable TV. The network's entire schedule of programming has a presence on the company's website-you can watch clips and selected episodes of most programs on the site-and Disney-ABC is also a partner in Hulu, which makes ABC programming available for on-demand viewing.