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ESPN Again Most Valuable Cable Network to Operators

ESPN once again was the cable network perceived as the most valuable by cable operators, according to the latest survey by Beta Research.

The sport channel, which commands the industry’s highest fees, has topped Beta’s list for 20 years.

In the survey, operators ascribed an average perceived value of 97 cents per sub per month to ESPN. It was followed by Fox News Channel and ESPN2.

Rounding out the top 10 (including a tie for 10th place) were: NFL Network, TNT, Disney Channel, HGTV, Fox Sports 1, TBS, Discovery Channel and USA Network.

The Beta survey also asked operators which network groups were very helpful in selling TV Everywhere, HDTV and video on demand.

Disney and ESPN Media Networks topped the list, named by 63% of those replying.

The rest of the top 5 were NBCUniversal Cable, Discovery Networks, Fox Corp. and Hallmark.

The Beat Research Cable Operator Study was based on a national sample of 100 cable operators, with interviews of marketing directors, general managers or directors of programming conducted between August and October 2019. Beta said that 85% of the respondents at companies with 10,000 or more subscribers, 60% with 75,000 or more and 53% with upwards of 200,000.