ESPN Most Valuable Net to Cable Operators: Survey

ESPN is the most valuable cable network to cable operators, according to a survey conducted by Beta Research.

The sports network has ranked first in perceived value for 18 years in a row in the Beta study.

The average perceived value of ESPN to the cable operators was 99 cents per month. They pay substantially more for ESPN, the highest-priced national cable network.

Related: ESPN Tops Cable’s Primetime Ratings Chart for January

The No. 2 network in the survey was Fox News Channel. Operators gave it a perceived value of 85 cents, also less than most operators currently pay.

Other top networks in the survey included ESPN2, 78 cents; Disney Channel, 73 cents; NFL Network, 73 cents; Discovery Channel, 69 cents; FS1, 67 cents; Food Network, 67 cents; TNT, 67 cents; CNN, 67 cents; and USA Network, 66 cents.

Related: Disney Sees ‘Modest’ Subscriber Improvement in Fiscal Q1

Beta also asked cable operators about which network organizations were very helpful in selling TV Everywhere, HDTV and/or video on demand.

The top group named by operators with 100,000 or more subscribers was NBCUniversal Cable. Disney and ESPN Media Networks comprised No. 2, followed by Fox Cable Networks, Discovery Networks, Fox News Channel and Scripps Networks Interactive.

The Beta study is based on a national sample of 102 cable operators and was conducted between August and October of 2017.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.