ESPN Remains Top Channel According to Cable Operators

In Beta Research Corp.’s 2010 Cable Operator Study, ESPN retained its number one status for the 11th consecutive year as the network with the most perceived value. ESPN2 placed second for the sixth straight year in this category with the Disney Channel in fourth and ESPNU tying with the NFL Network for seventh.

“From the depth of programming to the many platforms available for fans to consume content, the Disney and ESPN networks continue to help our affiliates drive their businesses,” said David C. Preschlack, executive vice president, Disney and ESPN Media Networks Affiliate Sales and Marketing. “To have four of our networks recognized in the top ten is an honor and we continue to look for new ways to innovative and provide value to our affiliate partners.”

Disney and ESPN Networks received the following high marks from cable operators:

  • ESPN and ESPN2 ranked first and second in perceived value; Disney Channel placed fourth and ESPNU placed seventh
  • For the seventh consecutive year, ESPN was considered most important network in their cable system and the most effective network in selling broadband or interactive television services.
  • ESPN also ranked number one in most helpful with high definition programming best overall marketing services, and most helpful in driving VOD or SVOD efforts.

As a basic network organization, the Disney and ESPN Media Networks also ranked first in many categories including:

  • Providing best overall marketing services;
  • Most effective in selling broadband/high-speed internet, HDTV, and/or VOD
  • Most visited affiliate web site

The telephone survey was conducted in August – October 2010 among general managers and/or marketing directors and VPs of individual cable systems.  The study determines perceived value of networks to cable systems; importance of networks to cable systems; unaided mentions for networks’ levels of marketing support, broadband, iTV, HDTV and VOD efforts.

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