Beta Releases Digital-Sub Study


Beta Research Corp. released results from its “2004 Beta Research Digital Cable Subscriber Study” Wednesday.

Among Beta’s findings:

• Digital-cable subscribers were asked, based on their knowledge, which is better for offering video-on-demand: digital cable or direct-broadcast satellite, and 54% didn’t know, 21% went with digital cable, 5% said satellite and 20% said they were both the same.

• After being given a description of VOD, a majority of respondents were unaware that the service is available on digital cable and not on DBS.

• When asked which was better for offering digital-video recorders, 64% said they didn’t know, 19% said both digital cable and DBS were the same, 13% said digital cable and 4% said satellite.

• When asked their favorite digital-basic-cable networks, with mentioning unaided, the results for systems that carried the respective networks: Lifetime Movie Network 24%,Biography Channel 19%, National Geographic Channel 17%, Fox Movie Channel 16%, ESPNews 14%, Fox Sports Digital Nets 13%, ESPN Classic 12%, BBC America 11% and History Channel International 10%.

• As far as which networks respondents had viewed in the past seven days, the numbers were: LMN 38%, NGC 34%, Biography 33%, ESPNews 31%, Fox Movie 30%, Music Choice digital-audio music channels 29%, Fox Sports Digital Nets 27%, ESPN Classic 23% and Weatherscan 21%.

• When asked the perceived value of digital-basic-cable networks per month, the tallies came in as follows: SOAPnet $2.18, Fox Sports Digital Nets $2.16, MTV Jams $1.97, Nicktoons TV $1.93, Noggin/The N $1.91, GAS Nick Games & Sports $1.90, Toon Disney $1.88, Discovery Kids Channel $1.85, LMN $1.84 and MTV Hits $1.83.

• In terms of viewer satisfaction, the “very satisfied” winners were: Fox Sports Digital Nets 74%, Toon Disney 72%, SOAPnet 70%, Nicktoons TV 69%, NGC 67%, Weatherscan 67%, Noggin 66%, ESPNews 65% and Music Choice 65%.

Beta conducted a total of 801 telephone interviews in July and August with a national sample of digital-cable subscribers from 32 cable systems.