Top Cable TV Picks: Discovery, TBS, and ESPN

 |  Includes: DIS, DISCA, GE, NWS, TWX
by: Marketing Charts

The Discovery Channel (NASDAQ:DISCA), ESPN (NYSE:DIS) and TBS (NYSE:TWX) were cited by ad execs as the top TV properties where they plan to increase spending in 2009 in a survey from Beta Research, which gauged spending intentions for 52 basic cable networks and the four major broadcast networks.

The survey also rated the same cable and broadcast TV networks on retention strategies, multi-platform opportunities and desirable programming environments.

Biggest Spending Increases

Nearly half (45%) of ad executives report that they will increase spending on the Discovery Channel in the next 12 months, while 44% plan to increase spending on ESPN and 40% will do the same on TBS. Other cable channels round out the top-10 list:

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Most Creative/Innovative Multi-Platform Opportunities

The survey also reveals that ad execs gave ESPN/ABC sports the highest scores (73% rated it 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale) among cable networks for being able to provide creative/innovative multi-platform opportunities, a measure that is new to the 2008 survey. Discovery Networks (61%) and MTV (59%) got the next-highest scores:

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Best Retention Strategies

Ad execs say that ESPN/ABC Sports, Turner Entertainment and Discovery Networks are best at providing strategies to retail audiences during commercial breaks, though even the highest-ranked network in this category had only 50% of respondents giving it a 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale. Fox (NASDAQ:NWS), the best of the broadcast networks, got a 49% vote:

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Most Desirable Programming Environment

In terms of offering the most desirable programming environment, Discovery Channel got the highest score among cable channels, with 82% of ad execs rating it a 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale. ESPN, HGTV and the Food Network also fared well. Among broadcast networks, ABC, NBC (NYSE:GE) and Fox did best:

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About the survey: Telephone interviews were completed August - October 2008 with 225 advertising media professionals, including 150 from ad agencies and 75 from advertisers. All respondents were screened and selected based on their involvement in the decision to place advertising on cable television networks.