SoapNet Tops Sub Gainers


SoapNet is projected to show the most growth of all basic cable networks in 2005.

An increase of 6.56 million new subscribers since last January would bring the ABC-owned cable network to 46.89 million subs. That is according to Nielsen Media Research estimates for January 2006 sub counts for the 72 cable networks it tracks.

Lifetime Movie Network is projected to come in second with 6.05 new subs, bringing its total distribution to 49.72 million.

Travel Channel, National Geographic and Hallmark are predicted to round out the top five with 5.21 million, 4.36 million, and 3.89 million new subs, respectively. That brings their total distribution to 89.11 million, 56.3 million, and 71.04 million subscribers, respectively.

The most widely distributed networks, according to Nielsen, are Discovery Channel at 92.28 million subs, ESPN at 90.11 million, CNN at 89.91 million, TNT at 89.77 million, and USA at 89.71 million.