LMN, Toon Disney Score in Beta Study

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Digital cable subscribers ranked Lifetime Movie Network among the top two in terms of recent viewership, viewer satisfaction and perceived dollar value, according to Beta Research Corp.'s latest research report on emerging cable networks.

Beta conducted 903 telephone interviews last October and November among adults aged 18 and up who subscribe to digital cable in eight systems owned by AT&T Broadband, Cox Communications Inc. and Time Warner Cable.

The study measured "emerging" analog or digital networks carried by most of those systems. An emerging analog network was defined as having fewer than 15 million subscribers, excluding satellite-dish owners.

Lifetime Movie Network ranked No. 1 in recent viewership, with 45 percent saying they had viewed the channel in the past seven days. Rounding out the top five were: ESPNews (34 percent), Biography Channel (31 percent), Fox Sports World (30 percent) and CNN/SI (30 percent), Beta reported.

As to viewer satisfaction with emerging networks, Beta found Toon Disney led Lifetime Television's fledgling movie service, 69 percent to 62 percent, in the very-satisfied category. Biography was third (58 percent), followed by Discovery Kids Channel (56 percent) and four other networks tied at 54 percent.

As for average perceived dollar value among subscribers who watched the networks, Toon Disney again ranked first, with a $1.98 monthly subscription value in the Beta study. After that were LMN and BET on Jazz (tied at $1.46), the Syosset, N.Y.-based Beta cable division president Andy Klein said last week.

Fox Sports World, Discovery Kids and Sundance Channel rounded out the top five, at $1.45, $1.32 and $1.26 per month, respectively.

In related findings, Beta said 59 percent of digital subscribers were "extremely or very satisfied" with their systems' digi-net selections and 86 percent said they would "definitely or probably continue" their subscriptions. Meanwhile, 10 percent said they "might or might not continue" and 4 percent said they would "definitely or probably not continue."

Three programmers were quick to talk up their networks' strong Beta showings.

A & E Television Networks senior vice president of affiliate sales David Zagin pointed out Biography Channel scored among the top three in seven key Beta categories and History Channel International among the top ten in 10 categories.

Discovery Networks U.S. executive vice president of affiliate sales and marketing cited the strong Beta showings in various categories for digi-nets Discovery Kids, Discovery Science and Discovery Civilization.

Lifetime Television called attention to LMN's having been ranked as the most viewed among 35 emerging networks in the past year (66 percent), month (57 percent) and week (45 percent) and also No. 1 in perceived value among total adults (96 cents a month). Klein pointed out consumers pegged that value whether or not they watched the channel.

Networks in the Beta study are a mix of analog and digital, Klein said, with a few analog services like ESPN Classic sometimes available via digital tiers. Klein said the latest research supported prior studies indicating "those networks with clear identities tend to score higher in viewer satisfaction and top-of-mind awareness."

Lifetime Movie Network ranked first in unaided recall, among 29 percent of digital subscribers, followed by ESPN Classic at 23 percent.


Report On Emerging Cable Networks/Digital Subscribers Viewing Network In the Past 7 Days.

<p> <span class="small" id="d9e43-18-small">Emerging Cable Nets</span> </p><p> <span class="small" id="d9e48-22-small">% among subscribers to systems carrying networks</span> </p>



Lifetime Movie Network



45%



ESPNews



34%



Biography Channel



31%



Fox Sports World



30%



CNN/SI



26%



ESPN Classic



24%



Discovery Science Channel



24%



Toon Disney



23%



History Channel International



20%



Discovery Civilization Channel



20%



Game Show Network



19%



Romance Classics (now WE: Women's Entertainment)



18%

Source: Beta Research Corp. October-November telephone survey among 903 digital cable subscribers


Average Perceived Value Among Viewers

<p> <span class="small" id="d9e196-142-small">Emerging Nets</span> </p><p> <span class="small" id="d9e201-146-small">Monthly subscription dollar value among viewers of the networks</span> </p>



Toon Disney



$1.98



Lifetime Movie Network



$1.46



BET on Jazz



$1.46



Fox Sports World



$1.45



Discovery Kids Channel



$1.32



Sundance Channel



$1.26



ESPN Classic



$1.24



ESPNews



$1.23



CNN/SI



$1.20



The Golf Channel



$1.20



Outdoor Channel



$1.19



Discovery Civilization Channel



$1.13



Speedvision



$1.13

Source: Beta Research Corp. October-November telephone survey among 903 digital cable subscribers

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