ESPN, Turner 'Ad' Up


Ad agencies and advertisers who took part in a Beta Research survey were most likely to increase basic-cable ad spending on ESPN, TNT and TBS in 2008, according to a survey released Jan. 9 by Beta Research Corp.

The survey of 150 ad-agency executives and 75 advertisers revealed that 43% of them would spend more on the sports network and 39% intended to increase spending on each of the Turner networks.

Rounding out the top destinations for increased ad spending on the 53 basic-cable networks Beta targets are Discovery Channel (38%), USA Network (37%), Comedy Central, ESPN2 and HGTV (each with 33%) and Food Network (31%).

ESPN was also highly ranked among potential advertisers looking for online opportunities, a survey category that also included four broadcast networks, in addition to 53 cable channels.

Seventy-five percent of those polled gave ESPN a ranking of four or five on a five-point scale for its Web availabilities.

Other top networks in this online-avails category were: The Weather Channel (69%, on par with ABC, the highest-scoring broadcaster); MTV (67%); Food Network (66%); and Discovery Channel (59%). The lowest scoring cable network in this category, VH1 (53%), still scored higher than the Web opportunities offered by broadcasters CBS and Fox. The latter two each received a score of 43%.

Three cable networks scored better than any broadcast network on their brand image. Ninety-one percent of respondents gave ESPN a four or five on a five-point scale in this category; followed by Discovery Channel and Food Network, both with 86%.

The highest scoring broadcast network, ABC, scored 85%. Next in the ranking was HGTV, 72%; ESPN2 and NBC with 71%; Fox with 70%; CBS, CNN and TBS, 69%; Comedy Central, 68%; MTV, 67% and National Geographic Channel and TNT, at 66%.

The potential advertisers gave high marks to Discovery Networks's upfront presentation, followed by that of Comedy Central. They scored a four or five with 82% and 79% of respondents who received an upfront presentation, respectively, both higher than any broadcast network. ABC was the highest broadcaster with a 77% score.

Other cable networks who won approval for their upfront presentations were Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, 73%; and ABC Family and Scripps Networks with 69% each. These cable networks outscored broadcasters CBS (66%) and NBC (63%).