Beta Rates Nets' Value

SYOSSET, N.Y.-ESPN topped a Beta Research Corp. cable-operator study on networks'perceived value to affiliates, while Discovery Networks' affiliate Web site garnered the most praise from respondents.

In the study, released last Thursday, affiliates assigned a 90-cents-per-month perceived value to ESPN, with runner-up Discovery Channel well behind at 73 cents. They were followed by Disney Channel and The Weather Channel, tied at 70 cents apiece.

ESPN2 rounded out the top five-operators said that network was worth an average of 69 cents per month.

Discovery Networks' affiliates-only Web site was the most visited (by 46 percent of operator respondents), according to the Beta survey; ESPN's and Turner Broadcasting System Inc.'s sites followed, at 39 percent and 38 percent, respectively.

When asked which of the affiliate Web sites were "excellent or very good," 80 percent chose Discovery, versus 70 percent for ESPN and 69 percent for Turner.

Beta surveyed 154 cable operators via telephone last September and October.