ION Television Becomes Fastest Growing Network

Double and Triple Digit Year-Over-Year Ratings Growth Across Key Demos Creates ION’s Best Season Ever

ION Launches All New On-Air Look, Multiplatform Advertising Campaign and “Positively Entertaining” Facebook Contest, Monday, October 4

NEW YORK--()--ION Television delivered its best season ever, growing faster year-over-year than any other broadcast or cable network, according to Nielsen Media Research. Propelled by the off-network series “Criminal Minds” and the newly acquired series “Without a Trace,” ION posted growth across all key demos, including A25-54, W25-54, A18-49 and W18-49. The ratings milestone sets the stage for ION’s latest brand update when it launches its new multiplatform look today, October 4th.

ION’s ratings success, from October 2009 through September 2010, registered record triple and double-digit growth in sales prime, with a +72% increase in total viewers (1,011,000 v. 588,000). As well, ION advanced +76% among A25-54 (450,000 v. 259,000), and +110% on W25-54 (276,000 v. 135,000). ION also notched substantial gains among the valuable W18-49 demo (252,000 v. 108,000) as well, up 133%, while A18-49 registered a +95% improvement (392,000 v. 204,000).

The season also saw ION Television achieve new milestones among its key A25-54 audience, as the network enjoyed its most watched day (12/29/09 – 934,000 A25-54), week (1/25/10 – 1/31/10; 628,000 A25-54), month (January 2010; 12/28/09 – 1/31/10, 579,000 A25-54), quarter (1Q10, 506,000 A25-54) and telecast (“Criminal Minds” Tuesday 10P - 12/29/09; 1.4MM A25-54) ever in sales prime with the demo.

The primetime ratings surge is driven, in part, by the continued success of ION Television’s hit off-network series:

  • “Criminal Minds”
    • The launch of “Criminal Minds” on ION propelled the network to strong growth, as the show yielded +83% gains among A25-54 (605,000 v. 330,000) during M-Su 7p-12a versus the year-ago network performance in the daypart. Additionally, “Criminal Minds” averaged triple digit gains among W25-54 (389,000 v. 180,000, + 116%), A18-49 (536,000 v. 256,000, +109%) and W25-54 (348,000 vs. 131,000, +150%).
  • “Without a Trace”
    • “Without a Trace” joined ION Television in July 2010 and quickly became a favorite of network viewers. The show posted year-over-year growth of +64% among A25-54 (373,000 v. 227,000), and +61% with A18-49 (319,000 v. 198,000). “Without a Trace” more than doubled year-ago audience levels among W25-54 (261,000 v. 132,000, +98%) and W18-49 (228,000 v. 119,000, +92%).
  • “Ghost Whisperer”
    • The addition of “Ghost Whisperer” to ION’s daytime lineup in August, coupled with popular weekend movies (“Back to the Future,” “Daredevil,” “The Fifth Element”), boosted the 3Q10 non-prime daypart performance by +18% among A25-54 compared to the daypart’s pre-Ghost Whisperer average (202,000 vs. 186,000) and by +39% on W18-49 (133,000 vs. 96,000).

“We have been fortunate with our content choices and partners during the first phase of our network launch, with a ratings growth that has put us in the top 15 U.S. entertainment television networks in only 18 months,” says Brandon Burgess, CEO, ION Media Networks. “That said, we see more content and ratings expansion potential ahead. The theme of our new on-air graphics reflects the multidimensional television entertainment content we see unfolding on the network in coming years.”

ION Television’s new on-air look, which launches today, October 4th, can be seen here: (http://www.ionshowcase.com/player/?playListID=b420fbc5c161e6295f20c72554fc3012).

While ION Television’s logo and “Positively Entertaining” tagline remain the same, the new graphics package, developed for ION by Greenwich, CT-based The Brand Gallery, launches on-air and online on the new www.iontelevision.com. Throughout October, the network will ramp up its presence in the marketplace, communicating its latest look, with initiatives including a business to business advertising buy and a guerilla marketing stunt in New York City.

Additionally, on the consumer marketing outreach, ION Television also launches its multiplatform “Positively Entertaining” Facebook contest today, searching for viewers with a flare for all things entertaining. Driven by its popular tagline “Positively Entertaining,” the network is recruiting fans to share entertaining photos and videos of themselves via Facebook, while for the first time generating user online and on-air content for the network. For five weeks, friends of ION’s Facebook fan page (www.facebook.com/iontelevision) are encouraged to submit their content on the social networking site in the categories: kids, musicians, pets, Halloween costumes and wipeouts. Three weekly winners will win a $100 gift card and be featured on ION Television. At the contest conclusion, all 15 weekly winners will be showcased on ION’s Facebook page for fans to vote on their favorite, ultimately awarding a grand prize of $3,000 to the fan who exhibits the best “Positively Entertaining” content. ION is supporting the contest with an advertising campaign on Facebook in an effort to engage both current ION Television fans as well as new users.

Source: Nielsen, strict daypart. Sales Prime: M-Su 7P-12A, 9/28/09 – 9/26/10 v 9/29/08 – 9/27/09. Non-Prime: M-Su 3P-7P, 8/2/10 – 9/26/10 v 6/28/10 – 8/1/10. Best telecast, day, month, quarter: 8/26/06 – 9/19/10.

About ION Television

ION Television (www.iontelevision.com) is a general entertainment network which reaches over 98 million U.S. television households via its nationwide broadcast television, cable and satellite distribution systems. Launched in 2006, ION Television features popular TV series and movies from the award-winning libraries of CBS Television, NBC Universal, Twentieth Television and Warner Bros. Parent company, ION Media Networks, Inc., owns and operates the nation's largest broadcast television station group. Using its digital multicasting capability, ION Media Networks has launched the digital TV brands Qubo, a channel for children focusing on literacy and values, and ION Life, a channel dedicated to active living and personal growth. It also has launched Open Mobile Ventures Corporation (OMVION), a business unit focused on the research and development of portable, mobile and out-of-home transmission technology using over-the-air digital television spectrum. For more information, visit www.ionmedia.com.

Contacts

ION Television
Christina Gilmartin, 212-603-8429
christinagilmartin@ionmedia.com

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Contacts

ION Television
Christina Gilmartin, 212-603-8429
christinagilmartin@ionmedia.com