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ION Reports 2Q Prime Time Rise

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA.: ION Television said its prime-time audience grew in the second quarter 59 percent compared to a year ago. Delivery for adults 25-54 increased by 74 percent, the media company said. Last month also was the biggest for ION Media’s flagship network during prime time since the company’s relaunch last fall.

ION didn’t provide its specific ratings numbers, but published reports indicate it logged a 0.5 in prime time during the week of the June 12 digital transition. By comparison, ABC had a 4.4; CBS a 4.8; Fox, a 3.2; MyNetworkTV, a 0.9; and The CW, a 0.8.

ION Television’s line-up consists primarily of off-net series and movies. It said “NCIS,” obtained from CBS, had a quarterly average of more than 1 million households for the first time in 2Q.

“These numbers indicate that ION Television’s primetime schedule is becoming a destination for viewers,” said Leslie Chesloff, executive vice president of programming for ION. “At this early stage in our development, this growth is particularly exciting because our schedule is still building. This fall, in addition to the off-network debut of ‘Criminal Minds,’ we will launch our first ION Television original series, ‘Durham County.’”

More TVB coverage of ION:
July 6, 2009: “Court Approves DIP Financing”
The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York gave its blessing last week just as some creditors objected to the terms of the DIP.

July 2, 2009: “ION Media’s Creditors Object to DIP Terms”
ION Media’s creditors are objecting to the terms of the company’s $150 million debtor-in-possession loan. ION in turn told the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Wednesday that the loan facility was “fair and reasonable.”

May 21, 2009: “ION Files for Bankruptcy”
ION Media Networks has filed for Chapter 11 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, listing assets of around $10 million and liabilities of more than $1 billion. A total of 117 subsidiaries also filed.

June 29, 2009: “ION Mobilizes TV in Manhattan and D.C.”
The service marks the for-real commercial debut of mobile digital TV broadcasting in the United States, though for whom is unclear. Various prototype receivers were bandied at April’s NAB trade show, but none appear to be readily available.