Beta Survey Measures Networks’ Value


Beta Research Corp. released the results of its “Beta Research Cable Operator Study-Evaluation of Basic Networks” Tuesday.

The survey measured 39 major, fully distributed cable networks (71 million subscribers or higher) and 16 midsized services (35 million-70 million subscribers).

Highlights of the findings included:

• When cable operators were asked the perceived value of cable networks, ESPN led top-ranked networks at 92 cents, followed by: ESPN2 (59 cents); Disney Channel and Cable News Network (48 cents); Discovery Channel and Fox News Channel (47 cents); MTV: Music Television (45 cents); Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite (44 cents); The Weather Channel (43 cents); and Lifetime Television (42 cents). The top three midsized networks were: ESPN Classic (33 cents); and National Geographic Channel and OLN (30 cents).

• Operators with 100,000 or more subscribers were asked which programmers were very helpful in selling service such as high-speed data, HDTV and video-on-demand. Discovery Networks U.S. led with 64%, followed by: Disney/ESPN Media Networks (60%); MTV Networks (47%); Scripps Networks (41%); NBC Universal Cable (33%); and Fox Cable Networks and Turner Broadcasting System Inc. (30%).

• As far as usefulness of programmers’ affiliate Web sites, the list of those found to be very good or excellent was: Discovery Networks (73%); Scripps (72%); Disney/ESPN (71%); and Fox Cable and MTVN (69%).

• In terms of basic networks with programming that generated the most local ad-sales revenue, with unaided mentions, cable operators cited: ESPN (58%); CNN (25%); Lifetime (23%); and Discovery and Fox News (21%). Ad-sales executives, meanwhile, cited ESPN (89%); Turner Network Television (47%); TBS (41%); Lifetime (40%); Discovery (35%); and Fox News and USA Network (34%).