Sports programming often ranks high in terms of cost and value, but there was a surprise in the most recent Beta study. Gospel Music Channel and NFL Network tied in terms of average perceived value among digital basic networks, with an average value of $2.06.
 
The next closest network was sports-related, with Tennis Channel coming in with a value of $1.53. Rounding out the list were PBS Kids Sprout ($1.50), SOAPnet ($1.49), TV One ($1.49) and CBS College Sports ($1.46).
 
Also noteworthy in the study was the number of DBS subscribers who gave their service higher marks than digital cable. 71 percent of DBS customers said they were very satisfied with their service versus 62% of digital cable subs. Similarly, 66% of satellite customers said they would definitely continue their DBS package compared to just 42% of digital cable subs.
 
The study was conducted by Beta Research in July among a sample of 1996 digital cable subs from 32 cable systems. It measured more than 40 digital basic services carried by most cable systems. The DBS results are from the Mar ’09 DBS Satisfaction Survey.
 
Among digital basic networks, Investigation Discovery rated the highest with 65% of viewers, followed by PBS Kids Sprout (63%), Gospel Music Channel (62%), Discovery Health (62%), History Intl (59%) and National Geographic Channel (59%).
 

The digital basic net ranking highest among men 18+ is Nat Geo (42%)—proving once again that sports isn’t everything. Nowhere near as close was Science Channel (26%), Fox Movie (24%), History Intl (22%), ESPN Classic (20%), ESPNews (19%) and NFL Net (19%). The top net among women over 18 was Lifetime Movie Net (32%), followed by Nat Geo (30%), Fox Movie (28%), Discovery Health (26%), SOAPnet (16%), BBC America (14%), DIY (13%) and WE (13%). NickToons ranked highest among teens 12-17 (30%), while Nat Geo scored the best with Hispanics (30%).

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First Circuit Swats Maine A la Carte Law

Maine’s attempt to force cable operators to make video channels (and individual programs) available to consumers on an a la carte basis received another blow. On Wednesday, the US Court Appeals of the First

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