Info Category Dominates Beta Brand Study


'Information/documentary basic networks had the strongest brand
identity/image' in the latest Beta Research Corp. study.

Beta's survey, 'Brand Identity of Basic Cable Networks,' found that of the
programmers within that broad genre, Fox News Channel scored 'significant
increases in comparison to past surveys.'

FNC outscored all other news channels in such survey categories as favorite
channel, being bold/trying new things and having well-liked hosts/personalities,
Beta noted.

The researcher reported that other findings in this cable-subscriber study --
exploring brand attributes that best describe various cable networks -- showed
that Discovery Channel and Animal Planet ranked as the top two as far as being
entertaining and as the channels to watch to take one's mind off current events
(a new measure).

The survey, results for which were released late Tuesday, also found
Discovery to be first when it came to having many original series/programs. It
was followed by sister services The Learning Channel and Animal Planet.

Fittingly enough, Comedy Central tied Animal Planet (84 percent) in being

Scripps Networks' Food Network (66 percent) and Home & Garden Television
(59 percent) emerged as tops among all cable networks in terms of having
well-liked hosts/personalities. Fox News was fifth overall (52 percent).

HGTV (67 percent) trailed only Discovery and Animal Planet as a choice that
takes minds off current events.

When rating informative networks, subscribers put The History Channel out
front (94 percent), followed by The Weather Channel (90 percent), with
Discovery, Cable News Network and Fox News rounding out that heading's top

Turning to cable networks' Internet sites, Beta reported that 24 percent of
subscribers said they had visited Food's and MSNBC's sites
during the previous 30 days. TWC's, CNN's and ESPN's Web sites completed that
grouping's top five, Beta added.

Beta's latest survey -- measuring a total of 38 basic-cable networks with
more than 55 million subscribers -- was conducted in January among a random
national sample of 600 cable subscribers.