Ion Launching in HD Feb. 16 - Broadcasting & Cable

Ion Launching in HD Feb. 16

Network to concentrate on top 20 markets
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Filed at 1:14 EST on January 27, 2009

Updated at 4:13 PM EST on Janurary 27, 2009

Ion is making the move to high def, starting with 20 markets within its 55-market footprint, including New York and Los Angeles, Feb. 16. The remaining markets will launch in HD later in 2009.

The company’s digital multicast channels, Qubo and ION Life, will also be available in HD to cable and satellite operators later in 2009.

“Ahead of the scheduled transition from analog to digital broadcasting, we at ION have made significant investments in upgrading our system as well as content,” said Joseph Koker, President, Television Station Group, ION Media Networks, in a statement. “These investments will bring heightened picture quality and a robust inventory of programming to our viewers. The viewers we serve will now enjoy the full benefits of DTV technology. We’re also excited to further extend this opportunity to our distribution partners and advertisers.”

Ion's HD programming will be launched from its new transmission platform via expanded satellite transponder capacity. That national distribution will then be delivered over-the-air via DTV broadcast, cable, telco-TV and satellite.

Bearing the tagline "Positively Entertaining," Ion offers a range of films, classic TV shows, programs from CBS Television, NBC
Universal, RHI Entertainment, Sony Pictures Television, Twentieth
Television and Warner Bros. and a handful of original productions.

Ion Television HD will initially be launched in the
following markets:

Atlanta
Birmingham
Boston
Chicago
Dallas-Ft. Worth
Detroit
Los Angeles
Miami
Milwaukee
Minneapolis
New Orleans
New York
Norfolk
Orlando
Philadelphia
Phoenix
Portland, Or
San Francisco
Tampa
Washington D.C.

The following markets will roll out ION TV in HD later in 2009:

Albany
Buffalo
Cedar Rapids
Charleston
Cleveland
Denver
Des Moines
Grand Rapids
Greensboro
Greenville
Hartford
Honolulu
Houston
Indianapolis
Jacksonville
Kansas City
Knoxville
Lexington
Louisville
Memphis
Nashville
Oklahoma City
Providence
Raleigh
Roanoke
Sacramento
Salt Lake City
San Antonio
Seattle
Spokane
Syracuse
Tulsa
Wausau
West Palm Beach
Wilkes-Barre

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