Operators Say ESPN Is Most Valuable Net

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

The survey information was also distributed by Walt Disney Co. and ESPN, which has been fighting a perception that ESPN’s distribution would be hurt if lower-cost skinny bundle programming were offered by cable operators to subscribers.

According to the survey, cable operators said ESPN was worth $1.03 and ESPN2 was worth 75 cents. Those networks actually cost operators and subscribers about $7 a month.

Following the ESPN channels were NFL Network, Fox News Channel, Disney Channel, TNT, Fox Sports 1, USA Network, Discovery Channel CNN and TBS.

Related: Iger Says ESPN Subscribers Are Up

Beta also asked operators which programmers were most helpful with TV Everywhere efforts.

Disney/ESPN was mentioned by the most operators at 59%, topping Fox Cable Networks at 45%; NBCUniversal Cable at 41% and Turner at 40%.

Individual networks mentioned as being helpful with TV Everywhere were ESPN, Fox News Channel, CNN, A&E, Hallmark Channel and Fox Sports.

Beta surveyed 100 cable operators between August and October. About half the respondents worked at systems with more than 200,000 subscribers.

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.