Cable Operators

ESPN Shines in Beta Survey

2/23/2005 4:00 PM Eastern

Beta Research Corp. released its fall-2004 “Beta Research Cable Operator Evaluation Study” Thursday.

The study was compiled via a syndicated telephone survey among a national sample of 150 cable operators during October and November 2004, measuring 39 major fully distributed basic networks (70 million or more subscribers) and 16 midsized networks.

Among highlights of Beta’s findings:

• Average perceived value of cable networks to cable operators: ESPN ($0.74); Cable News Network ($0.52); Discovery Channel and ESPN2 ($0.51); Disney Channel and The Weather Channel ($0.48); Fox News Channel and MTV: Music Television ($0.46); and Lifetime Television and MSNBC ($0.45). Among midsized networks: Hallmark Channel ($0.37); ESPN Classic ($0.35); and National Geographic Channel ($0.34).

• Basic or expanded-basic networks most helpful in helping operators (with 50,000 subscribers or more) to drive video-on-demand, unaided mentions: Discovery and ESPN (32%); MTV (22%); Home & Garden Television (20%); and Food Network and A&E Network (12%).

• Basic or expanded-basic networks most helpful in helping operators (with 50,000 subscribers or more) to sell high-speed-data service, unaided mentions: ESPN (51%); MTV (35%); Discovery (32%); Fox News (21%); CNN (20%); and G4 (17%).

• Networks described as “very valuable” in terms of having programming that generates local-ad-sales revenue: ESPN (76%); Discovery and CNN (65%); TWC (60%); and Fox News and Lifetime (53%).

September