SES AMERICOM has signed a multi-year distribution agreement with the US’s largest station group, ION Media Networks, to launch its full suite of television networks in HD.

The move means that SES now has 60 HD channels on its HD-PRIME delivery platform.

The ION channel provides a mix of television series, theatrical and made-for-television movies and specials.

Mark Greenlee, senior vice president of network operations at ION Media Networks, said ION has tapped expanded distribution capacity aboard HD-PRIME to offer its HD programming to viewers in more than 94 million homes across the country.

He said ION Television HD will carry both native and up-converted HD programming on all 60 network stations in the US.

ION HD starts this week over HD-PRIME satellite AMC-1, with ION’s qubo, a multilingual kid’s network. ION Life, a digital network devoted to active lifestyles, is set to follow later this year.

"SES AMERICOM provides the reach and reliability ION Media Networks counts on day in and day out to serve both our cable and broadcast audiences nationwide," he said.

David Goosey, senior system engineer at ION Media Networks, said HD-PRIME offers the advanced technology, the know-how, and the top-of-the-arc orbital slot needed to serve its affiliates and audiences from Honolulu to Boston.

The HD distribution agreement between ION Media Networks and SES AMERICOM runs through the life of the AMC-1 satellite, which was launched in 1996.

The hybrid C- and Ku-band spacecraft is located at 103 degrees west, where it is home to national television networks broadcasting to thousands of cable headends that reach tens of millions of homes across the country.

Subscribe to our Newsletter