Ion Plus

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Ion Plus
ION Plus logo.svg
Launched February 19, 2007; 12 years ago (2007-02-19) (as Ion Life)
Owned by Ion Media
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
Country United States
Language English
Broadcast area Nationwide (via OTA digital TV)
(U.S.coverage: 63%)[1]
Headquarters West Palm Beach, Florida
Formerly called Ion Life (2007–2019)
Sister channel(s) Ion Television
Qubo
Website ionplustv.com
Availability
Terrestrial
Affiliated with Ion Television owned-and-operated and affiliated stations in most markets See list of affiliates
(channel carriage varies depending on the station, although the network is usually carried as a third digital subchannel)
Cable
Verizon FIOS Channel 492
National feed available on select other U.S. cable systems Consult your local cable provider or program listings source for channel availability
IPTV
AT&T U-verse Channel 468

Ion Plus is an American broadcast television network owned by Ion Media

Originally from its 2007 launch as Ion Life, the network had primarily featured lifestyle programming, consisting of shows pertaining to subjects such as health and wellness, cooking, home decor, and travel. In 2019 with expanded cable carriage, Ion Media switched the network's schedule to match the main format of Ion Television, featuring day-long marathons of various drama series.

Ion Plus is carried mainly as a digital multicast service on Ion Media Networks-owned stations as well as select Ion Television affiliates (and is primarily placed on the third subchannel); its base national feed is also available on select cable and satellite providers. In select markets, Ion Plus has main channel placement, allowing it must-carry coverage on local cable and satellite services.

Background

The network launched on February 19, 2007, focusing on generalized health and lifestyle programming; the network replaced a three-hour timeshift channel which depending on geographical location, carried what was then called i: Independent Television's Eastern or Pacific time zone feeds.[2] Ion Media Networks originally planned to name the network "iHealth" to match i's name, until it was subsequently rebranded as Ion Television in September of that year.[3][4]

On January 14, 2008, as part of a carriage agreement that allowed the provider to continue to carry Ion Television, Ion Media Networks reached an agreement with Comcast to carry both Ion Life and its children's-targeted network Qubo on its systems.[5][6] Subsequently, in May 2010, Ion Media signed carriage agreements with Advanced Cable Communications and Comcast's system in Colorado Springs, Colorado to add Ion Life to digital tiers in several markets.[7]

Even though Ion Life's parent network Ion Television overhauled its logo as part of an extensive rebranding on September 8, 2008, Ion Life retained its existing logo – a green variant of the logo Ion Television used from 2007 to 2008 – and graphics package, the latter of which remained in use until 2011. In February 2010, the network added theatrically released feature films to its schedule, usually airing from 7:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. Eastern Time (the airtimes vary, sometimes starting earlier or ending later depending on the length and number of the films) on Monday through Friday evenings. By 2012, the number of films featured on the network had decreased, with more lifestyle-oriented programming being added to its prime time schedule; films returned to the lineup full-time the following year.

logo from 2017 to 2019 as Ion Life

On March 27, 2017, Ion Life's logo was made over to match Ion Television's logo.

Throughout 2017 and 2018, Ion Media has begun to purchase several stations which have become channel sharing partners with their stations after the 2016 FCC spectrum auction, specifically to exploit those stations' existing must-carry pay TV coverage to allow the addition of Ion Life to cable and satellite systems, which has been refused in the past as a digital subchannel (Ion's main channel is traditionally the only channel seen on those systems). Many of these stations were formerly owned-and-operated stations associated with the Trinity Broadcasting Network, which has begun a slow withdrawal from over-the-air broadcasting in non-critical markets.

Programming

From 2007 to 2019 Ion Life primarily aired cooking, home decor, DIY programming and car shows (with an occasional movie mixed in).

In 2019, Ion Life switched to a format of airing day-long marathons of hour-long drama programs as a complement to sister network Ion Television. Programs airing under this new format include Flashpoint, The Listener, Saving Hope, Leverage, White Collar, and Rookie Blue.[8]

On July 1, 2019, the network was rebranded to Ion Plus to reflect its current schedule and expansion in several markets to a must-carry primary channel slot available through most providers.

Name history

Ion Plus was the former name of a secondary national feed of Ion Television provided to cable providers starting in 2005 filled with Ion Life programming in periods featuring paid programming. To address fears by providers, the network would decline to an all-infomercial service in the "i:Independent Television" era of the network.

Affiliates

As of November 2015, Ion Plus has current and pending affiliation agreements with 65 television stations encompassing 34 states and the District of Columbia.[9] The network has an estimated national reach of 58.29% of all households in the United States (or 182,130,362 Americans with at least one television set). Like parent network Ion Television, the network's stations almost exclusively consist of network-owned stations. Ion Life's programming is available by default via a national feed that is distributed directly to select cable and satellite providers in markets without a local Ion Television station that carries the network.

Ion Plus does not have any over-the-air stations in several major markets, most notably Baltimore, Maryland; Toledo, Ohio; San Diego, California; Charlotte, North Carolina; Richmond, Virginia; Green Bay, Wisconsin; and Cincinnati, Ohio. A key factor in the network's limited national broadcast coverage is the fact that Ion Media Networks does not actively seek over-the-air distribution for the network on the digital subchannels of other network-affiliated stations (in contrast, its parent network Ion Television – which had similarly limited national coverage following the digital television transition – has begun subchannel-only affiliation arrangements through agreements with NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations' Telemundo Station Group subsidiary and Media General during 2014 and 2015[10]), with very few stations that contractually carry the network's programming (with limited exceptions in markets and Anchorage, Alaska). As a result, Ion Media Networks owns the vast majority of the stations within Ion Plus's affiliate body.

References

  1. ^ Buckman, Adam (July 26, 2016). "Diginets Keep Growing, Despite Auction Cloud". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  2. ^ "Ion Launches 24-Hour Diginet Ion Life". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media. February 19, 2007. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
  3. ^ "ION MEDIA NETWORKS TO LAUNCH NEW DIGITAL HEALTH NETWORK". Ion Media Networks (Press release). May 31, 2006.
  4. ^ "ION UNVEILS SECOND DIGINET: I-HEALTH". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media. May 31, 2006. Retrieved November 23, 2015.
  5. ^ "Ion Media Networks and Comcast Announce Affiliation Agreement for Channel Suite". Yahoo! (Press release). January 14, 2008.
  6. ^ Mike Reynolds (January 14, 2008). "ION Media Plugs In New Comcast Accord". Multichannel News. Reed Business Information.
  7. ^ "ION Media Networks Inks Multi-Affiliate Deals for Diginets". Telecommunications Weekly. May 26, 2010. Archived from the original on June 11, 2014. Retrieved February 22, 2014 – via HighBeam Research.
  8. ^ Shows - Ion Life.com
  9. ^ "Stations for Network - Ion Life". RabbitEars. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  10. ^ Gary Dinges (November 14, 2015). "New broadcast TV network hits Austin's airwaves". Austin American-Statesman. Cox Enterprises. Retrieved November 18, 2015.

External links

  • Official website
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