Discovery Channel, History Channel and ESPN ranked as the top three networks in the annual Beta Research Cable Subscriber study evaluating basic cable networks.
Discovery capped the number one spot for the 15th consecutive year, the network noted. Thirty percent of those surveyed named the channel, without prompting, as one of their top five favorite channels. Twenty-eight percent named the History Channel and 22% named ESPN.
Rounding out the top 10 were the Food Network (18%), Lifetime and HGTV, each named by 17%; TNT (16%), CNN, (15%), and Fox News Channel and USA Network were each named by 14%.
The results were culled from a syndicated telephone survey among a national sample of cable subscribers. A total of 700 interviews were conducted between July 1 and Sept. 6 of this year.
Discovery also scored high on program quality, but not as high as The Disney Channel. Seventy-eight percent of respondents ranked programming quality highly for the kids channel, just nudging Discovery, which got a score of 77%, out of first position. ESPN2 outranked its sibling ESPN in this part of the poll: 76% of respondents lauded the program quality on ESPN2 compared to 73% naming the original sports channel.
History Channel scored on par with ESPN 2, followed by Animal Planet and National Geographic Channel at 75%. The Weather Channel tied with ESPN whle ESPN Classic and Food Network tied with 72% each.