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|Predecessor||Silver King Broadcasting (1986-1998)|
|Defunct||January 14, 2002|
|Headquarters||Newark, New Jersey|
|United States (Nationwide)|
|Lowell "Bud" Paxson, Roy Speer (former Silver King Owners), and Barry Diller|
|Parent||USA Networks, Inc.|
Vivendi Universal Entertainment
USA Broadcasting (USAB) was an American television broadcasting company owned by the veteran entertainment industry executive Barry Diller. This company was the over-the-air broadcasting arm of USA Networks.
USAB dates back to the mid-1990s when Diller purchased Silver King Broadcasting and its parent company, Home Shopping Network, Inc., from Lowell W. "Bud" Paxson and Roy Speer. Paxson and Speer had assembled the group to expand Home Shopping Network onto broadcast television. The stations carried the Home Shopping Club (now America's Store). Home Shopping Network, Inc. later brought Universal's cable/TV production units, renaming them USA Networks, Inc., and its broadcast television subsidiary USA Broadcasting in 1998.
Diller planned to remove shopping shows from most of the stations' broadcast days and replace them with local and syndicated programs, including a few produced by sister production unit Studios USA that also aired nationally on USA Network. He wanted to tie each of the stations very closely to the communities they served, and to open up opportunities for locally produced programs. This format was dubbed "CityVision", and took heavy influence from the format used by CITY-TV in Toronto (and more prominently, that station's sister broadcast television properties that became charter stations of Citytv, when CHUM Limited expanded the format to other Canadian markets as a television system in 2002)
By 2000, four stations were transformed into Diller's new model: WAMI-TV (WAMI "Whammy" 69) in Miami, WHOT ("Hotlanta 34") in Atlanta, WHUB ("Hub" 66) in Boston, and KSTR ("K-Star" 49) in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. WAMI and KSTR aired local news, talk shows and sporting events. WHOT and WHUB broadcast syndicated programming as well as local sports. WAMI broadcast Miami Heat basketball and Florida Marlins baseball games. WHOT and KSTR also carried professional basketball games of, respectively, the Atlanta Hawks and Dallas Mavericks. WHUB acquired the rights to the annual Beanpot hockey tournament between four of Boston's colleges and also rights to Boston University's men's ice hockey games. HSC/America's Store continues to broadcast late at night and on weekends.
There were also plans to convert stations in New York (proposed callsign: WORX, "The Works"), Los Angeles (proposed callsign: KLIK, "Click"), Chicago (proposed callsign: WNDE, "Windy") and Atlantic City (proposed callsign: WACY, "Wacky"), to the new local-TV model. However, due to financial troubles in 2001, USAB had scrapped those plans and reduced programming on its existing independent stations. In the same year, Diller suddenly put the entire station roster up for sale. Disney/ABC and Univision were the companies in the running to buy the stations, but Univision outbid Disney in a close race. In August 2001, Univision purchased the stations and converted them into Spanish language outlets. Some affiliated with Univision, but most joined its new sister network, Telefutura (now UniMás), which was launched in January 2002.
Silver King/USAB also briefly owned four Fox affiliate stations, formerly owned by SF Broadcasting: WLUK (Green Bay, Wisconsin), KHON (Honolulu, Hawaii), WALA (Mobile, Alabama), and WVUE (New Orleans, Louisiana). That ownership was between 1996 through 1998, before the four stations were sold to Emmis Communications. Emmis eventually departed from television ownership and resold the stations to other parties, including LIN TV Corporation and in WVUE's case, a group led by the owner of the New Orleans Saints, Tom Benson