ION Media Networks Announces Exclusive Programming Partnership with Bodog Entertainment
ION Television to Launch New Late Night Programming Block
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- ION Media Networks, Inc. (AMEX:ION) today announced an exclusive television alliance with Bodog Entertainment, the digital entertainment programmer known for its innovative multi-platform content and promotional approach. ION Television will be the exclusive nationwide U.S. television network bringing various original BodogTV programs to over 90 million television homes. The shows will include �BodogFight� and �Calvin Ayre Wildcard Poker,� using the unique ION-Bodog alliance to enter two of today�s most popular TV categories: mixed martial arts and celebrity reality contests.
�Having revitalized ION Television�s more mainstream primetime content and ratings, we are now starting to focus on expanding other important dayparts, particularly �late night,�� said Brandon Burgess, President and CEO of ION Media Networks. �Bodog�s dynamic approach to creating and promoting innovative content is a great fit for attracting and serving the typically younger late night audience.�
�This agreement with ION Media Networks marks a significant step for our TV productions,� said Calvin Ayre, founder of Bodog Entertainment. �ION Television�s nationwide broadcast reach is a perfect platform for us to connect with our growing audience of fans. We look forward to a great partnership.�
Beginning February 13th, ION Television will run original episodes of �BodogFight: St. Petersburg� Tuesdays and Saturdays at 11 p.m. ET/PT. The series will lead up to a special event in Russia later this spring, featuring some of the biggest names in the world of mixed martial arts. To celebrate the TV launch, ION Television will air a �free-per-view� world broadcast premier special of �BodogFight: USA vs. Russia� on Saturday, February 17th from 8 to 11 p.m. ET/PT.
Bodog and ION Television will collaborate on advertising sales as well as marketing and promotion for the programming, with the launch being supported by a major consumer media and marketing campaign to promote the Bodog programs airing on the network. The campaign will run across traditional and electronic media and will capitalize on the popularity of mixed martial arts and celebrity poker television events. Following the successful introduction, the partners may contemplate expanding development and launching additional content formats targeted at young late night audiences.
About ION Media Networks
ION Media Networks, Inc. owns and operates the nation�s largest broadcast television station group and ION Television, reaching over 90 million U.S. television households via its nationwide broadcast television, cable and satellite distribution systems. ION Television currently features popular television series and movies from the award-winning libraries of Warner Bros., Sony Pictures Television, CBS Television and NBC Universal. In addition, the network has partnered with RHI Entertainment, which owns over 4,000 hours of acclaimed television content, to provide high-quality primetime programming beginning July 2007. Utilizing its digital multicasting capability, ION Media Networks has launched several new digital TV brands, including qubo, a television and multimedia network for children formed in partnership with Scholastic, Corus Entertainment, Classic Media and NBC Universal, as well as a television and multimedia network dedicated to health and wellness for consumers and families. For more information, please visit www.ionmedia.tv.
BodogTV.com is a division of the international digital entertainment giant Bodog Entertainment. With six offices worldwide, the company features a diverse and growing roster of television shows. These include BodogFIGHT (www.bodogfight.com), a mixed martial arts show, Bodog Battle of the Bands (www.BodogBattleoftheBands.com), a contest for a million dollar recording contract, and Calvin Ayre Wild Card Poker, a poker lifestyle reality show. Bodog Entertainment Founder Calvin Ayre, who is recognized as a world authority on branding in the digital entertainment industry, was featured on the cover of Forbes magazine's best-selling "Billionaires" issue in March 2006.