Friday, October 1, 2010

Worth its weight in gold

The Daily Beast has compiled a list of the twenty-five most valuable cable channels—but keep in mind, the measurement is their financial worth, not whether they haven’t any programming on them worth watching…

Using data supplied by SNL Kagan—and against the backdrop of the executive departures at NBC and ABC—we've compiled a gallery of the 25 most valuable cable networks. We excluded pay-TV networks such as HBO and Showtime, because those require consumers to subscribe to them individually, as opposed to networks like MTV or Food Network, which are widely available to consumers as part of a suite of channels offered on the basic or expanded basic cable tier. What we discovered is that not all cable networks, even ones with similar programming targeting similar audiences, are created equal. Nickelodeon is worth $17 billion, for instance, while the Cartoon Network is valued at only $3.4 billion. And CNN, doesn't rank among the Top-20 highest-rated networks but is slotted as the 12th most valuable at $6.1 billion. (CNN, not coincidentally, last week ousted boss Jon Klein primarily because of its lackluster ratings.) Moreover, while revenue and ratings factor into a network's worth, they aren't as highly correlated as one would think.

"Just because you are one of the top-rated networks doesn't mean you are one of the most valuable," says Derek Baine, SNL Kagan's senior entertainment analyst. Or vice-versa.

Which is why The Greatest Cable Channel Known to Mankind™ (ka-ching!) has been shut out of this list…and while the Painted Hussy of Classic Movie Channels, AMC, ranks at #18. Madness!

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