ABC is short for the American Broadcasting Company, one of the United States' traditional "Big Three" broadcast networks. ABC first broadcast October 12, 1943 as a radio network and expanded its operations to include television in 1948.
ABC began as the NBC Blue Network, a subsidiary of the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), but it eventually spun off to form its own company. ABC is the fifth-oldest broadcasting network in the world, though it is younger than competitors NBC and the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). ABC owns a number of cable channels, including sports giant ESPN, and is in turn owned by Walt Disney Incorporated.