ION Television Breaks Network Viewership Records in First Quarter 2009
Primetime HH Viewership is Up 26% and Adults 25-54 Jump 44%
Exhibits Double Digit Growth Across Every Hour in Primetime
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- First quarter 2009 has been a record breaking time for ION Television, with double digit growth in primetime viewership among households as well as in the key adults 25-54 demo. The Network delivered more adults 25-54 than at any other time in its history and ION's top five most watched episodes ever (HH) all aired during the first three months of this year. ION's extraordinary growth is a continued reflection of the success of its strategy to build viewership through its acquisitions of critically acclaimed off-network series in primetime.
Primetime delivery for households was up 26%, while adults 25-54 rose 44%, year over year. Also during this time period, viewership for adults 25-54 exhibited double digit growth across every hour in primetime: The 8:00 PM hour was up 20%, the 9:00 PM hour grew 49% and the 10:00 PM hour rose 62%.
ION's primetime off network series continue to deliver. NCIS and Boston Legal have both grown significantly since their launch in fourth quarter 2008. In fact, NCIS delivered ION's top five most watched episodes ever (HH), reinforcing the Network's mission in attracting more viewers than ever. NCIS averaged over one million total viewers in first quarter 2009, up 27% among households and up 31% among adults 25-54. Boston Legal's first quarter 2009 performance has grown 18% among households and 17% among adults 25-54.
ION's ratings gains provide the Network with considerable momentum as it prepares its programming schedule for the 2009-10 season and beyond. That schedule will feature 12 originally produced movies a year, the new first run series Durham County, The Border and The Guard and the newly acquired off-network hits Ghost Whisperer and Criminal Minds.
"ION Television has never been better positioned for sustained growth," said Leslie Chesloff, Executive Vice President, Programming, ION Media Networks. "ION is building a programming platform that attracts and holds key demographic groups, particularly adults 25-54 in primetime. As we roll out new first-run and off-network programming later this year and into 2010, we fully expect to see our ratings and key demographics continue to rise."
Source: Nielsen Galaxy Explorer; 1Q09, 4Q08 & 1Q08 Primetime (M-Su 8p-11p); HH & A25-54 Live+SD (000)s; network history defined as 2006 to-date.
About ION Television
ION Television (www.iontelevision.com) is a general entertainment network which reaches over 94 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 RHI Entertainment, CBS Television, NBC Universal, Sony Pictures Television, 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.