Cable networks make the Buzz list

History, Discovery connect, says new market firm

Most TV execs worry about ratings. Will they now have to agonize about Buzz rankings?

London-based YouGov, an Internet-centered market research firm that conducts polls around the world, tallies its BrandIndex Buzz score by asking respondents if they have heard anything about a given brand within the previous two weeks, either through advertising, news reports or word of mouth.

It then asks if what they heard was positive or negative.

Two cable nets were among the U.S. brands with top Buzz scores for 2011. A&E Networks’ History ranked third among all U.S. brands, with a score of 36.7, while Discovery Channel finished eighth, with 34.8. (The top Buzz score for the year was 41, achieved by sandwich chain Subway.)

Among networks, the Weather Channel, Food Network and Animal Planet rounded out the top five Buzz rankings.

NBC took the crown for “most improved” Buzz score among broadcasters: It rose from a score of minus 2.9 in 2010 to 1.5 last year. Even with that gain, the home of the $5 footlong has more than 27 times the buzz of the Peacock.