Ion Television is an American broadcast, cable and satellite television network that is owned by Ion Media Networks. The network first began broadcasting on August 31, 1998 as Pax TV, focusing primarily on family-oriented entertainment programming; it rebranded as i: Independent Television on July 1, 2005, converting into a general entertainment network featuring mainly recent and older acquired programs; the network adopted its current identity as Ion Television on January 29, 2007.
Ion Television is available throughout most of the United States through its group of 60+ owned-and-operated and affiliated stations, as well as through distribution on cable and satellite providers; since 2014, the network has also increased affiliate distribution in several markets through the digital subchannels of local television stations owned by companies such as NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations and Media General where the network is unable to maintain a main channel affiliation with or own a standalone station, for the same purpose as the distribution of Ion's main network feed via cable and satellite. The network's stations cover all of the top 20 U.S. markets and 37 of the top 50 markets.
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