Cable, Particularly DCI, Shines in Branding Survey

Cable is very well-represented among the top-quality media and television brands in Harris Interactive Inc.’s “Spring 2004 EquiTrend” brand study.

Networks and cable series accounted for 17 of the top 25 brands ranked by quality score, according to the EquiTrend study, which gauged 178 media brands.

Cable was even stronger within the TV-network grouping, grabbing 21 of the top 25 brands. All told, Harris measured 61 networks for quality scores.

Leading the way were vehicles from Discovery Communications Inc. For the eighth consecutive year, flagship Discovery Channel was the No.1 media brand with a 7.46 quality score. The service also ran its streak to one-dozen years among TV networks.

Harris’ research put The Learning Channel second on both lists with a 7.34 quality score.

TLC and Discovery were joined among the top 25 TV networks by sister services Discovery Health (seventh with a 7.12), Discovery Home Channel (ninth with a 7.11), Animal Planet (10th with a 7.08), Discovery Times Channel (12th with a 7.00), The Science Channel (16th with a 6.95) and Travel Channel (19th with a 6.89).

All of those networks, save for Travel, also ranked in the top 25 among all media brands. They were joined by Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom specials (6.90 for 24th) that air on Animal Planet.

Other cable entries on the top TV networks list: The History Channel (3rd with a 7.33); The Weather Channel (fifth with a 7.15); National Geographic Channel (eighth with a 7.12); A&E Network (11th with a 7.04); Food Network (12th with a 7.00); Home & Garden Television (14th with a 6.98); Disney Channel (15th with a 6.96); ESPN (18th with a 6.89); USA Network (20th with a 6.89); Nickelodeon (21st with a 6.88); AMC (23rd with a 6.87); Fox News Channel (24th with a 6.85); and The Biography Channel (25th with a 6.84).

The Spring 2004 EquiTrend Brand Study was conducted online between April 23-May 24, with results gleaned from a nationwide cross-section of some 24,000 consumers aged 15 and older. Brands are ranked to the third decimal, resulting in no ties.

Discovery also performed quite well among all consumer brands, finishing 11th overall for quality. Smithsonian Institution (7.62) and Sears, Roebuck & Co.’s Craftsman Tools (7.61) were the top two brands relative to perceived consumer quality.

“The results of this survey validate Discovery’s commitment to providing consumers with the highest-quality entertainment in the world and underscore our mission to be a trusted and valued source of information,” DCI CEO Judith McHale said in a prepared statement.

“It is an incredible honor for Discovery Channel to be continuously recognized as the top media brand for quality, and it reinforces our belief that there is great interest in the high-quality real-world programming that Discovery provides,” she added.