ESPN Tops in Beta Research Study

For the sixth year in a row, ESPN ranked No. 1 in perceived value among top-ranked major cable networks, according to Beta Research Corporation’s Cable Operator Study of 2005.

ESPN2 and Disney Channel (tied with CNN) were rated No. 2 and 3, respectively, in the category. ESPN Classic, National Geographic and OLN took the top three spots among top-ranked midsize cable networks.

Conducted from October to November of 2005, Beta Research Corporation measured 39 major fully distributed basic-cable networks with 71 million or more subscribers and 16 midsize networks with 35 to 70 million subscribers (at time of the survey).

Topics covered included: most helpful for HD television; most helpful in broadband and high-speed internet efforts; best marketing support; importance of networks; perceived value of networks; evaluation of video-on-demand; evaluation of affiliate Web site; and evaluation of affiliate representative.

A survey to determine perceptions of the value of basic-cable network organizations was done among marketing directors and general managers. There was also an additional survey on local-cable-ad sales, in which 100 local-ad-sales executives from cable systems were interviewed. They ranked Disney and ESPN Media Networks first in every category.

Discovery, Disney/ESPN Media Networks, and MTV Networks rated first among operators with 100,000 or more subscribers in the selling of high-speed internet, HDTV and/or video-on-demand.

Discovery Networks, Scripps Networks and Disney/ESPN Media Networks rated as the top three “very good” or “excellent” affiliate Web sites.

In a survey of cable operators, ESPN ranked No. 1 among top-ranked basic networks with programming that generates the most local-ad-sales revenue, while CNN and Lifetime ranked second and third. Local-ad-sales executives also ranked ESPN No. 1 in the category, with TNT taking a distant second place and TBS a close third to its sister network.

“This survey is a true testament to our local-ad-sales representatives and their efforts throughout the year to provide our affiliates with the best support, as well as promotions in the industry,” said Gary Perrelli, senior VP, affiliate ad sales. “Year after year, we continue to help generate the most local-ad-sales revenue for our affiliates.”