Nearly one-half (45%) of cable TV advertisers plan to increase ad spending  on the ESPN Sports Network in the next 12 months, and 40% plan to allocate more spend on the Discovery Channel, according to Beta Research.

Audience Retention Strategies

ESPN/ABC Sports also received the highest marks for providing effective strategies to reduce commercial churn, with 53% of ad professionals rating the network a 4/5 (on a 5-point scale).
Discovery Networks was a close second with 51%, followed by Turner Entertainment with 47%.

The broadcast networks were generally less sticky than their cable counterparts: Only 44% of ad professionals awarded ABC with a 4/5 rating. Fox was a close second (43%).

CBS was cited as the least sticky of all broadcast networks, with a 4/5 approval rating of 34%.

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Evaluation of Network Pitches

Asked to evaluate the major networks' upfront presentations, 77% of ad professionals rewarded Discovery Networks with a 4/5 approval rating. Scripps Networks was second (75%), and was closely followed by the Cartoon Network/Adult Swim (74%).

Among broadcast networks, ABC received the highest marks for upfront presentation, with 76% giving the network of 4/5 score. Fox took second place with 72%, followed by NBC (63%).

Multi-Platform Creativity

Asked to evaluate the networks on their ability to provide innovative or creative multi-platform opportunities, once again ESPN took the top spot: 68% of ad professionals rated the network a 4/5.

Discovery Networks was second with 64%, followed by Scripps Networks (59%).

On the Broadcast side, ABC and NBC were tied, each with a 51% 4/5 rating.

About the data: The 2009 Beta Research Ad Executive Study is based on telephone interviews with 226 media executives, of which 151 were culled from agencies. The remaining 75 respondents were clients.

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