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Old 12-27-2006, 02:26 AM   #32
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Ratings for the "new" i Network have been great:

ION Media Networks Reports Significant Ratings Growth

New Content and Digital Brands Drive Viewership Gains for Nationwide TV Network

(West Palm Beach, FL – December 20, 2006) – ION Media Networks, Inc. (AMEX: ION) today released ratings information and analysis for its flagship TV network, posting significant gains of 21 percent in households and 20 percent in Women 25-54 in weekday primetime. The ratings increases, which compare the network’s broadcast season-to-date performance to the first two quarters of this year, reflect ION’s new programming approach of showcasing popular theatricals and classic TV favorites through multiple content deals with its partners, including Warner Bros., Sony, CBS Television and NBC Universal.

“Our improving ratings performance validates the recent efforts we have made to broaden the programming appeal of our TV network, for which we have received positive viewer and advertiser feedback,” said Brandon Burgess, President and CEO, ION Media Networks. “We are focused on delivering continued gains in the coming broadcast seasons, as we bring additional partners and content into our strategy.”

Additional programming highlights from the period include:

* “Mama’s Family,” which joined the schedule in mid-August, posted a 32 percent increase in households for the 8 to 9 p.m. time period. The popular sitcom delivered a season-high 914,000 households on October 12, 2006.
* “Diagnosis Murder,” which returned to the network in late June, has increased the 10 to 11 p.m. time period by 51 percent.
* Driven by classic TV marathons and theatricals, the network’s weekend primetime average is up 49 percent.
* The Sunday, November 19th movie, “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” set a season record in households, delivering 933,000 households and 328,000 Women 25-54.

“Our programming approach has focused on increasing our core audience, while still appealing to our current base of loyal viewers,” said Stacey Nagel Galper, ION’s Senior Vice President of Programming and Strategic Planning. “We’ve seen immediate gains with the pick-up of perennial favorites such as ‘Mama’s Family’ and look forward to building on this success with the debut of RHI Entertainment’s award-winning content on our network in July 2007.”
RHI Entertainment will serve as ION’s exclusive television programming supplier on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights for an initial two-year period beginning July 1, 2007. RHI will plan and program the 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. time periods, totaling 12 hours of programming per week, utilizing its prolific catalog of over 1,200 titles, which have captured 448 Emmy Nominations, 103 Emmy Awards, 15 Golden Globe Awards and numerous Peabody, SAG, Christopher and Genesis Awards. The agreement also provides for the U.S. broadcast premiere of at least six new RHI productions each year.

Additionally, ION’s content brand extensions, qubo, an education-oriented network for kids, and its health and wellness-oriented format, have made successful debuts on the network. Both spin-off brands will launch as dedicated 24/7 digital nationwide networks via ION’s owned-and-operated TV stations in January 2007 and will also be available to TV stations interested in becoming ION digital multicast affiliates in 2008.

qubo, which airs Fridays from 3 to 6 p.m., has shown impressive growth since launching on ION’s flagship network on September 15, 2006. On Friday, December 8, 2006, qubo delivered increases in Kids 2-11 of 157 percent versus the premiere week and 43 percent versus the previous week. Kids 6-11 increased 107 percent over premiere week and 71 percent from the previous week. In addition, qubo has outperformed the Saturday morning kids programming it replaced on NBC, increasing by 57 percent in Kids 2-11 for the November sweep compared with NBC’s November 2005 average.

Source: Nielsen Media Research
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