Top-rated networks are generally the brands that viewers remember and want to watch.
A new marketing survey shows the broadcast networks getting top scores over all cable networks. But top cable-rated networks performed well. These networks include ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC, as well as ESPN, Discovery, History, USA, Food Network and TNT --- brands that "American consumers can't do without," according to Solutions Research Group.
ABC actually scored the best results with 51%, narrowly beating out CBS, Fox, and NBC. The survey called "Must Keep TV" says this is the fourth time out of five that ABC has won since the poll started in 2007. Among men, CBS took the top spot, while ABC led in most key female demographics.
Although broadcast networks have lost some steam over the years, the survey says 77% of Americans would include at least one of the big four networks in their top channels. This has declined from the years 2007 through 2009, when it reached 83%.
The survey this year interviewed 1,400 American consumers, considering 73 TV brands.
AMC grew the most year-to-year among 18-49 viewers -- now in 30th place, up from 50th place a year ago. Among younger viewers 18-34 it also gained, now the 19th-rated TV network that viewers can't do without. The survey says AMC is a more valuable channel in this younger demographic than brands such as A&E or TLC.
PBS moved up seven places to 12th place, and is ahead of TBS and HBO when it comes to women viewers. The survey says the popular PBS show "Downton Abbey" has helped.
Others that have moved up include ABC Family, now in 17th place, and The Weather Channel, in 20th place.
Among the more expensive pay-TV networks, the research says "TV viewers appear to be slowly abandoning premium movie channels like Starz, Movie Channel and Cinemax." Among 18-49 viewers, Starz dropped seven places to 34th place. Cinemax also dropped to 46th place and The Movie Channel sank 10 spots to 59th place.
Losing ground were Nickelodeon, down to 25th place, and Fox News, losing seven spots to land in 30th place. HBO is now in 11th place. HBO remained outside of the top 10 for the second year in a row, although it improved its standing to No. 11 since 2011, due to strong momentum among men 25-54.