Ion to Launch I-Health

May 31, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Ion Media Networks, the company formerly known as Paxson Communications, said Wednesday it plans to launch a new digital broadcast channel dedicated to consumer health.

Called “I-Health,” the channel will be distributed to consumers using Ion’s TV stations’ digital broadcast signals starting later this year, with a full rollout expected in 2007. The focus of the channel will be on consumer preventative health care and education, with a goal of providing viewers with information on lifestyle, prevention, treatment and post-treatment.

The launch of the new digital channel is part of a broader move by Ion to bolster the types of shows it airs in the hopes of driving up advertising revenue. The company, which owns 60 TV stations, needs to generate more cash to help pare down its debt load, which stands at just under $1 billion.

Ion said it will tap a number of sources for TV shows to air on the channel. Plans also call for the channel to have an advisory board of medical and health experts who will help decide what shows are carried on I-Health.