Major U.S. television network. It began when the expanding national radio network NBC split into the separate Red and Blue networks in 1928. To avoid a communications monopoly, NBC was forced to sell the Blue network in 1941. Its buyer, Edward J. Noble, maker of Life-Savers candies, gave the company its present name. After merging with United Paramount Theaters in 1953, ABC expanded into the emerging television industry and soon became one of the three top networks. It specialized in sports broadcasting and developed the instant replay in 1961. It was bought by Capital Cities Communications in 1985 and by the Walt Disney Co. in 1995.