Test Airing of “Beyond Today” on ION Television
January 3, 2014
An exciting opportunity has opened up for Beyond Today television. The United Church of God has secured an agreement with ION Television to run Beyond Today on Sundays at 9:00 a.m. EST for a ten-week test period. We will be reaching 50 million households on ION cable and satellite. (This does not include their broadcast stations.)
Commencing on Sunday, January 19, 2014, the program will air at 9:00 a.m. EST. ION is willing to extend this time period as needed and for additional testing, and with reasonable notice. Dr. Charles Stanley is the lead-in to our program, which is in our favor. He has a very good audience.
Neilsen rankings show ION in the top 15 cable systems. WGN America ranks approximately 37th. Also, ION will be providing a dual-feed service, meaning that it will air at 9 a.m. ET and at 9 a.m. PT (three hours later). WGN only offered a single-feed, meaning Beyond Today has been airing at 5:30 a.m. PT—not ideal. Overall, and because of this, WGNA has approximately one third of ION’s dual-feed audience.
By way of background: our plan is to do A/B testing of WGN against ION on Sunday mornings, and as soon as we see which network is performing the best, we’ll drop the other. This initial double expenditure will be stopped as soon as we know. We are cutting back somewhat on Internet advertising for a while to make up the difference and to stay within our overall media department budget.
As a bonus, ION will also provide 30-second promotional opportunities to air prior to the program’s start date and will continue the promotional airings throughout the test period, subject to available time slots. In addition, our agent is pleased to place and be responsible for additional bonused airings of Beyond Today during this test period in five select ION broadcast owned and operated markets. Pending confirmation of availability of their time slots matching the cable platform, these markets will be Denver, Salt Lake City, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and San Francisco. These five broadcast markets will reach an additional 6 million households.
Please pray for the success of this test, and that it will become apparent very quickly which of the two networks should be our choice. We cannot support the expenditure of running both for very long.
Peter Eddington—Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services