Study: Cable Operators Rank ESPN, ESPN2 and Disney Channel as Most Valuable Networks

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In Beta Research Corp.’s 2009 Cable Operator Study, ESPN, ESPN2 and Disney Channel again ranked first, second and third in the key category of average perceived value.  This is the 10th consecutive year that cable operators have ranked ESPN the most valuable network on their cable system.  ESPN2 and the Disney Channel have held the second and third most valuable spots for five consecutive years.

“The fact that our portfolio of networks - ESPN, ESPN2, Disney Channel and ABC Family – occupy the top spots in the minds of our affiliates speak volumes about the products and our team,” said David Preschlack, executive vice president, Disney and ESPN Media Networks.  “And ESPN has been the network that drives affiliate’s efforts for a decade, which is a huge milestone for us.  We never take these results for granted and we will continue to work, day in and day out, to serve fans and to find new and innovative ways to deliver and drive value for our affiliates.”

Cable operators rate ESPN and Disney Channel number one and two, respectively, in nearly every categories:

  • ESPN and ESPN2, followed by Disney Channel, rate highest in perceived value among networks
  • For the sixth consecutive year, operators considered ESPN the most important network in their cable system. Disney Channel ranked second.
  • ESPN was on top in terms of most helpful in driving VOD or SVOD efforts, with Disney Channel ranked number two and ABC Family ranked #4 (tied).
  • ESPN also ranked number one in best overall marketing services. Disney Channel and ABC Family ranked third and fourth (tied), respectively.
  • ESPN was also rated as most effective network in selling broadband or interactive television services; followed by ABC Family in the number two position.

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 – November 2009 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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