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ABC Video Enterprises, Inc. was a home video and cable television unit of the ABC Television Network, formed in July 1979. The group bought a controlling stake in ESPN in the early 1980s, as well as being partners in Lifetime, A&E, and a joint venture with Westinghouse to form the Satellite News Channel (SNC), which was later bought by Ted Turner to cut the competition with his CNN network. In 1993, it was re-purposed as "Capital Cities/ABC Cable and International Broadcasting, Inc.", which later became Disney-ABC International Television.
1st Logo (1981-1987, 1991)
Nicknames: "Shiny ABC Video", "Bronze ABC Video"
Logo: On a black background, we see the black words "ABC VIDEO" with white sparkling outlines zoom out and connect together. Afterwards, one of the outlines' sparkles, between A (in ABC) and V (in VIDEO), shines, connecting the A in "ABC" to the V in "VIDEO", and the words become bronze. Then the green words "ENTERPRISES, INC.", sandwiched by green lines, appears at the bottom of "VIDEO" via a wipe effect in rays of light. The bronze words "ABC VIDEO" sparkle.
FX/SFX: The sparkles, the words zooming out and becoming bronze, the rays of light.
Music/Sounds: A humming sound when the words zoom out, sounding bizarrely like the start of the Walt Disney Home Video "Sorcerer Mickey" logo, followed by a loud synth trumpet crescendo when the words turn bronze and the green words appear, closing with a single drumbeat. A silent version exists, as well.
Availability: Rare. At the time, ABC licensed its film and TV library to various companies for VHS/Laserdisc/Betamax release, such as Embassy Home Entertainment, Golden Book Video, CBS/Fox Video, Warner Home Video, and Republic Pictures Home Video (to name a few). The best way to find this logo is looking for an ABC Video Enterprises print logo on the cover. Of course, re-releases put out via Promotional Concept Group Inc. in the late 1980s-early 1990s will most likely use the 2nd logo instead. The silent version can be found at the end of the Playhouse Video release of Here Come the Littles!
Editor's Note: Seeing as ABC's circle logo appeared on the company's print logo (where it was placed on top of the ABC Video Enterprises logo), it's a bit strange that it didn't appear on-screen.
2nd Logo (1986-1993)
Nicknames: "ABC in Space"
Logo: A large, blue ABC logo zooms out to the center on a space background with the text "Capital Cities/ABC Video Enterprises Inc." below it. Then, when the logo's in place, a comet streaks past the text below and changes it to "ABC Distribution Company" while the ABC logo above changes into an Earth globe. Sometimes, a copyright date appears below it.
- A filmed version of this logo exists.
- There's also a variant with a different space background and the text below is "Capital Cities/ABC Video Productions Inc.". Above that is "in association with".
FX/SFX: Very good and innovative CGI for the time. This logo uses bump mapping, something not commonly used in the time period.
Music/Sounds: A majestic, space-like synth fanfare. Some releases have it silent.
Availability: Rare. Can be seen on some old videotapes of TV shows and movies produced and distributed by ABC. It made a surprise appearance at the end of Sundance TV's airings of the My So-Called Life episode "Life of Brian". It also makes a surprise appearance at the beginning of the 2006 Anchor Bay UK DVD release of The Secret Garden.
Editor's Note: None.
3rd Logo (1993-1995)
Logo: On a white-green gradient background, we see the familiar ABC logo from 1962-2007. Below the logo, we see "Video" in a cursive font. They were intersected by some stripes.
Variant: There was a variant seen on kids' tapes where the 1962-2007 ABC logo is in yellow with a hat on it. The stripes are absent in this logo.
- The normal version appeared on ABC Video distributed tapes at the time such as New York Rangers: 1994 Stanley Cup Champions.
- The kids' variant was seen on Schoolhouse Rock! tapes before Buena Vista Home Video took over, early Bump in the Night tapes, as well as the 1994 VHS release of The Secret Garden.
Editor's Note: None.
4th Logo (1996-1999)
Logo: On an animated blue shiny background, an opaque ABC logo pops up while a much larger translucent one slides from left to right and the Video part of the logo slides in and then zooms out. Finally, the entire logo meets at the end of the sequence and the objects are still for a few seconds until the logo is over.
FX/SFX: A shimmering blue background and some sliding effects.
Availability: Rare. Appears on ABC tapes distributed by Buena Vista Home Video, such as the VHS boxset series The Century: America's Time (w/ Peter Jennings).
Editor's Note: None.