The Battlestar Galactica Factor

top-must-keep-tv-brandsIn November 2008 during the sweep period, we asked 1,200 viewers to tell us their “must keep TV” brands if they could keep only a limited number of channels to watch in their households.

The results are becoming more interesting every time we ask the question – this is our third wave of research on TV channel brand equity since the spring of 2007.

ABC won the overall title narrowly for the third time in a row – 52% picked ABC as one their “must keep TV” channels, CBS was a close #2, followed by NBC and FOX.

ESPN, Discovery, History, Sci Fi, HBO and Food Network rounded out the top 10 list.

Riding the substantial crossover success of Battlestar Galactica, Sci Fi moved into the #8 spot from #14 last year.  HBO dropped one position to #9, while the Food Network entered into the top 10 for the first time.

Other momentum brands in this year’s survey include USA (now #11, up from #20 last fall), TNT (now #13, up from #23 last fall) and Spike. Lower in the charts, TBS gained 9 spots (now #23 up from #32), while A&E slipped from #16 to #21.

CNN won the battle of the news brands with a #14 ranking vs. #18 for FOX News.

In the ever-important 18-49 female demo, ABC was the #1 brand, while FOX took the top spot for men 18-49.

Even against the backdrop of increased fragmentation, the big 4 networks continue to have very strong pull – 81% of viewers said would keep at least one of the four networks if they had a very limited set of channels, and 57% said they would keep two of the four.

Technical: The results are based on a survey of 1,200 online Americans aged 12 and older in November 2008 (during the last week of the sweeps) using a professionally-managed panel representative of the US online population by age, gender, region, and ethnicity. Where applicable, the results are compared to similar surveys of 1,150 interviews conducted in November 2007 and 1,200 interviews conducted in the Spring of 2007. To find out more about ‘Must Keep TV’ Brand Trending, you can email David Ackerman at To maintain an unbiased perspective, SRG funds its own syndicated research.