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Disney/ABC Television Group

Disney/ABC Television Group

Disney/ABC Television Group

Disney/ABC Television Group

The ABC Cable Networks Group, a division of Disney/ABC Television Group, has informed cable and satellite operators across the United States that they will cease operating SOAPnet, the cable network devoted to airing same day episodes of “Days of our Lives” and “General Hospital” at night along with off-network airing rights to such shows as “Veronica Mars,” “Beverly Hills,90210,” “Gilmore Girls,” “One Tree Hill” and more. The network, which launched January 20, 2000, is expected to go dark effective on December 31, 2013 at 11:59:59 PM EST. Despite SOAPnet’s reported replacement, Disney Junior, already operating since 2012 on several providers across the country, the kids friendly network will officially replace the women’s network at 12:00:00 AM EST on January 1, 2014.

It was on Wednesday, May 26, 2010 when the Disney/ABC Television Group announced plans to cease operating SOAPnet. “The launch of Disney Junior in the U.S. is the next step in our global preschool strategy, which began 10 years ago with the premiere of our first dedicated preschool channel in the UK. The decision to ultimately transition SOAPnet to accomplish this was not arrived at lightly,” Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC Television Group, said at the time of the announcement back in 2010. “SOAPnet was created in 2000 to give daytime viewers the ability to watch time-shifted soaps, before multiplatform viewing and DVRs were part of our vocabulary. But today, as technology and our businesses evolve, it makes more sense to align this distribution with a preschool channel that builds on the core strengths of our company.”

SOAPnet

SOAPnet

SOAPnet was expected to transition into Disney Junior 18 months after the announcement was made, but in April 2011, in a report via Deadline Hollywood, a Disney insider made it clear that due to licensing agreements with cable and satellite operators things wouldn’t happen as quickly as expected. In the Deadline posting at the time, the insider said, “Over the last 6 months, our entire team has been under the impression that SOAPNet was going to shut down in January 2012 and be replaced with Disney Junior. Over the last few weeks, I have heard comments that Disney Junior is now having problems getting the cable contracts done. So Disney Junior’s launch has been pushed from January to Spring 2012 and now SoapNet is not shutting down in January 2012. Both networks will be run at the same time it could be for several years, Disney Junior will only be in a few homes and a lot of money will be spent keeping both networks up.”

Earlier this year Soap Opera Network reached out to a Disney/ABC representative to ask why the network was still existing nearly three years later (SOAPnet: It’s 2013, Why Are You Still Here?), and the rep said, “We have always viewed the launch of Disney Junior as a transition, not a ‘flip of a switch,’ and as such SOAPnet will remain available for an undetermined period of time as deals are finalized with distributors. During the ongoing negotiation process, we will continue to support SOAPnet, and are selling advertising.”

Nearly 12 months since our report, it looks like the switch will finally be flipped.

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WHAT DO YOU THINK? Comment Below...
  • realtor John

    Not happy one bit. I hate ABC will they ever go the way of new Coke?

    • Michael

      So sad- I loved Soapnet- always watch it when Days or GH is preempted. I started watching GH a few years ago after a five year break because of SoapNets’ old weekend marathons.

      • not an RC fan

        Really not a smart move.. they could advertise soapnet on ABC and get lots of viewers to if not new GH (which suchs imo… can’t stand Franco or Kiki or the way it is so fake and cartoony anymore.. GH used to be awesome..) .. to old GH. Reair the old episodes!

        • K

          Bring back soapnet. You took away all my children& one life to live . I work for a living and use soapnet to watch what is left out there when I get home and finish my days computer work. Come on man, give me a break!!!!!!!!

  • sue

    really? are they kidding me. who lets their little children stay up after midnite to watch childrens shows. disney is a greedy empire. bye bye disney!!!!

  • Debbie

    I’m REALLY disappointed in this. I rely on Soapnet to watch GH because it is always being interrupted for some kind of breaking news. Aren’t there enough kiddie channels on cable already? Please save Soapnet!!

    • Karen

      I agree that Soapnet should NOT leave. I also depend on Soapnet to watch
      GH. Please bring it BACK. I suppose we can watch missed shows on our computer.

  • Ashley

    PLEASE LEAVE IT ON!!! I use Soap Net as a back up when they take our regular channels and play the Olympics or the President is on for some reason. I can always depend on Soap Net.

  • byebyesoapnet

    Since most cable systems have already removed it I don’t see this as a huge deal. I lost it well over a year ago and this was planned for some time now so anyone who is complaining over it should stop.

  • Lbowa2

    Anne Sweeney is about thee most clueless human being the television industry has ever produced. She is a Disney puppet and not Walt Disney – because he would be ashamed at what Corporate Disney has done to his dream. From Brian the Turd Frons to brainless Anne Sweeney – Disney has single handedly dismantled the very fabric of American daytime TV. Women were the original target audience for daytime dramas – she should be ashamed to call herself a woman. There is a special ring in hell for soulless creatons like them.

    • Debbie

      Well said. All it comes down to is greed & the almighty evil dollar. Frons started the downfall of soaps & now Sweeney is following suit. GH is the only show I watch on ABC, when it goes off I won’t watch it at all. The primetime shows I used to watch on ABC I have lost interest in.

  • Former ABC viewer

    The only show I watch on ABC since they canceled AMC and OLTL is General Hospital.

    Tell everyone you know to boycott ABC til they bring back our favorite soaps. “Katie” is already virtually dead, and now we have to sink that silly cooking show.

  • Bexx

    Buh bye! There is always TVGN where you can find an actual soap opera airing nightly.

    • ronald mikell

      please keep soapnet on I watch it all the time to watch days of our lives, please don’t cancel soapnet keep it on

  • tracey

    I don’t understand the concept of replacing an “adult” station with a preschool station-my aunt is disabled and doesn’t have those new fangled recording devices (though now I’m going to have to talk her into it and hope she can hit all the buttons right) and she is upset- she is saying she will watch Days instead of GH at 1pm, and she just started watching Days on Soapnet 3 years ago and has been watching GH for 40 years-so ABC way to go again.

  • Marnie Davis

    Soapnet is an ABC network and this has been long in coming. ABC is killing the soap opera genre. I have been disgusted since the cancellation of All My Children and One Life to Live. Soapnet is going away and ABC is suing Prospect Place causing the demise of the new All My Children and One Life to Live. I at least had the online soaps and reruns of One Life to Live in the mornings on Soapenet. General Hospital is unwatchable to me. I find the show has too many uninteresting new characters and is wasting the talents like Roger Howarth, Michael Easton and Kristin Alderson. Goodbye Soapnet. You will be missed. I am done watch ABC Daytime period.

  • Louise

    I am so disappointed that Soapnet will no longer be on. I love watching reruns of AMC & OLTL, and episodes of GH when they have a local news breakin. Isn’t there anything we can do or will these shows be going to another channel? Please help us.

  • Rhonda Summerlin

    I’m thoroughly disappointed and will probably cancel my cable as that is the only reason I got it so I could watch the soaps @ night when I was unable to watch in the daytime!

  • Kim Destifanes Marling

    Why do we need a kid friendly preschool channel on when kids this age should be in bed? I work 12 hr days and enjoyed watching my soaps as a way to relax and I hate reality tv!!! I watch Disney JR with my Grandson and there is a lot of reruns when Comcast did the replacement we moved to Direct Tv , Hoping that Days and GH can somehow follow YR and B&B and be put on the night time lineup on TVGN !!!! Going to renegotiate bill with Direct TV now that Soapnet is gone. And Disney some of your best customers at your theme parks are the very adults you just ticked off Love Disney but you don’t need another channel!!!!!!

  • Bringbacksoapnet

    How in the world could Disney feel that children should be watching TV during the hours of 7:00 to 9:00 when the soaps use to air? Isn’t there enough tv for children? I work all day and the only thing I looked forward to was watching Soapnet at night! Thanks alot to the thoughtless corporate execs that make the decisions for the working class so they can sit around their offices and come up with more ways to shove more cartoons down childrens throats! Bring back Y & R, Days and GH!!!!! I hope everyone boycotts Disney!!!!!