Disney and ESPN announced that ESPN has remained the number one network with the most average perceived value for the 14th consecutive year.  This news is important as there is continued pressure to keep the amount cable operators pay television networks low.  Currently ESPN charges $5.54 per subscriber which is much higher than other channels.  For example, TNT only gets $1.24 per subscriber.  The consumer desire for live sports coverage allows ESPN to charge those higher affiliate fees.  For more info, read ESPN’s press release below.

For the 14th consecutive year, operators named ESPN the no. 1 network with the most average perceived value among all networks measured in Beta Research Corp’s annual Cable Operator Evaluation Study.  The network was also ranked the no. 1 most important network in their cable systems for the 10th straight year – and 13 of the past 14 years – with 93% of operators describing ESPN as “very important” for subscriber retention and acquisition.  Other findings among operators include:

  • ESPN2 ranked second in average perceived value for the ninth consecutive year.
  • Disney Channel ranked fourth in greatest perceived value and third in importance of network.
  • Disney and ESPN Media Networks ranked no. 1 for the most visited and highest rated (excellent or very good) affiliate website.

Among unaided mentions, operators voted Disney and ESPN Media Networks as the no. 1 organization most helpful in selling high-speed Internet, HDTV and/or video on demand.  It was also voted most helpful with providing the best overall marketing support and high-definition programming.  Additional findings among unaided mentions include:

  • Among networks most effective in helping drive operator VOD and SVOD efforts, Disney Channel and ESPN ranked nos. 1 and 2, respectively.
  • ESPN ranked no. 1 among networks most helpful in providing programs on multi-platforms such as iPads or smartphones.

Further, in the Beta Local Ad Sales Executive study – which was also released on Wednesday, Feb. 26 – ESPN ranked no. 1 among unaided mentions for the 10th straight year as the network that has the most valuable programming to help create local ad sales revenue among major networks.  Additionally, Disney and ESPN Media Networks ranked no. 1 for the 10th straight year in terms of having the most appealing demographics and no. 1 for the sixth consecutive year for the percent of local ad sales executives who visit the network group’s affiliate site.

The Beta Cable Operator study conducted 88 interviews with a range of representatives from individual cable systems between August and November 2013. The Beta Research Corp study measures perceived value of networks to cable systems; importance of networks to cable systems; overall evaluation of affiliate representatives and affiliate websites; helpfulness of network organizations on selling high-speed Internet, HDTV and/or video on demand; unaided mentions of network/organization on having best marketing support services and most helpful with operators’ broadband/high-speed Internet, video on demand and HD programming efforts; and unaided mentions of network/organization in providing programming for smartphones/tablets.

The Beta Local Ad Sales Executive study surveyed 99 local ad sales executives from cable systems between November and December 2013.