Netflix Takes Top Spot in ‘Must Keep TV’ Rankings

Top 15 Must Have TV Networks: SRG
(Image credit: Solutions Research Group Consultants Inc.)

After three years of steadily climbing up the charts, SVOD pioneer Netflix took the top spot in Solutions Research Group’s 13th annual “Must Keep TV” ranking, ousting broadcaster ABC from the pole position.

SRG said it conducted 1,400 online interviews across the country between May 22 and May 26 with consumers aged 12 and older, a little more than two months into the coronavirus lockdown where most had a good chance to consume their regular brands and sample some new options.

According to SRG, respondents are shown a list of 79 broadcast, cable and high-penetration streaming brands and are asked to identify which ones would be on their “must keep TV” list if they had to choose a limited number.

While Netflix took the overall lead, broadcasters made up the rest of the top five in the rankings, with ABC No.2, followed by CBS, NBC and Fox. Amazon Prime Video was No. 6 and Disney Plus, which launched on Nov. 12, debuted at No. 13 on the list.

ESPN was the top cable brand (No. 8 overall) for the 13th year in a row, despite the lack of live sports programming during the lockdown. PBS was ranked No. 9 and CNN came in at No. 10 as viewers increasingly tuned in news during the pandemic.

Disney Plus was the most significant momentum brand of the year, placing 13th among the total 12+ population – a higher entry position than Amazon Prime Video and Hulu which entered in No. 14 and No. 22 respectively in 2017 when they were added to the lists.

Other brands on the rise in 2020 include Discovery, Food Network, Cartoon Network and FX, SRG said. Big gainers included TLC, which leaped from No. 41 last year to No. 21 this year and MSNBC, which rose from No. 46 to No. 39 this year. Brands that lost ground include AMC, The CW and HBO. According to SRG, HBO fell from the top 10 for the first time since 2013.

Overall, Netflix was No. 1 with adults aged 18-34 for the fourth year in a row, followed by Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, ABC, and Fox.

Netflix continued its three-year streak as the top brand for men aged 18-49, followed by ESPN, ABC, Fox and CBS. Amazon Prime Video and Hulu placed No. 6 and No. 8, respectively in this demo. and Amazon Prime Video and Hulu, which each rose two spots in the rankings for that demographic.