Networks aim to avoid Buzz kill

BrandIndex shows MTV most improved; PBS with positive score

In the first six months of 2012, the BrandIndex Buzz score for MTV was the most improved among U.S. broadcast and cable networks. That may be small consolation to Viacom execs, however, because the Buzz is still negative.

London-based tracking company YouGov calculates its Buzz score by asking consumers if they have heard anything about a particular brand in the preceding two weeks. A follow-up question ascertains whether what they heard from advertising, news reports or word of mouth was positive or negative.

For MTV, the score is still negative, though less so than in the first six months of 2011. YouGov attributes the MTV improvement to the success of “Jersey Shore” and its spinoff featuring Snooki and JWoww.

At the other end of the cultural spectrum is the second-best improver among nets, PBS. YouGov says the pubcaster’s score was aided by a string of successful shows, including the modern Holmes update, “Sherlock.” PBS was the only improving U.S. web to have positive Buzz.

Among all brand categories, two cable nets made the top 10 in Buzz scores for the first half of the year: History ranked fourth and Discovery Channel sixth.

Once again, the Subway sandwich shop chain had the best Buzz score of any brand in America.