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Discovery, ESPN Top Advertisers’ Wish List: Survey

Advertisers and ad agency executives most often named Discovery Channel and ESPN as the cable networks on which they are most likely to increase ad spending in the next 12 months, according to a survey fielded by Beta Research Corp.

Those results may signal intent to advertise, but the research notes the interviews for the ad executive study were conducted between August and October of last year, before the stock market dropped drastically and before a disastrous Christmas buying season.

However, the questions asked of the ad execs were on their intent to increase spending, not to volunteer the amount of an actual increase. Of the 225 advertising professionals queried, 45% named Discovery as the network they were most likely to receive their increased ad spending. Forty-four percent named ESPN, followed by TBS (40%), Food Network (39%), USA Network (38%), HGTV (37%), TNT (35%), ESPN2 and TLC (31 % each) and Comedy Central (30%).

The top two networks swapped places when ad executives were asked to name the networks providing the most innovative and creative multi-platform opportunities by ranking them a four or a five on a five-point scale. Then, 73% of the executives named ESPN/ABC Sports and 61% named Discovery. The rest of the list included MTV (59%), Scripps Networks (58%),VHI (57%), The Weather Channel (54%), Comcast Entertainment Networks and Turner Entertainment (53% each) and CNN Networks and Comedy Central (48% each).

By comparison, only 58% named the highest-ranked broadcaster, NBC, followed by 56% naming ABC. Fox, at 44%, and CBS, at 39% were bested by all the ranked cable networks, according to the Beta survey.