The big-four broadcast networks (led by ABC) once again top an annual survey of "must-keep" TV brands, which showed strength this election year for CNN, Discovery and for Game of Throneshome HBO but weakness among Viacom's brands other than BET.
The top four on the list were the same broadcast networks, in the same order, for the third consecutive year. Discovery vaulted into fifth place, as the top cable brand, in this ninth annual edition of the survey by Solutions Research Group. HBO ranked sixth, its highest placement since 2007, followed by ESPN (which was No. 5 in 2015), A&E (up to No. 8 from No. 12 in 2015), History and The CW. PBS was ranked 11th after being in the top 10 for three years in a row, and AMC slipped to No. 12 from 10th in 2015.
CNN's standing at No. 13 was the best since SRG began doing the survey in 2007: it had only finished in the top 20 once before, in another election year, 2008.