The 20 Most US Popular Channels Viewers Want in Their TV Bundles

As pay TV providers and Internet TV providers are exploring ways to offer new, innovative content packages that better reflect consumer preferences, Digitalsmiths this week points the way forward for the skinny bundle.

Digitalsmiths asked over 3,000 consumers which pay TV channels they would want as part of their pay TV package if they could choose.

Respondents to the survey averaged 17 channels in a bundle, at a price point of $38.


The top 20 US TV channel list, in order of preference as ranked by respondents

1. ABC
2. Discovery Channel
3. CBS
4. NBC
5. History Channel
6. National Geographic
7. Fox
8. PBS
9. HBO
10. Comedy Central
11. AMC
12. Food Network
13. Animal Planet
14. The Weather Channel
15. TBS
16. HGTV
17. TNT
18. TLC
19. FX
20. ESPN


“The numerous changes taking place in 2015 might force pay TV providers to think creatively and offer different structures in their packages,” Digitalsmiths said. “Pay TV providers might consider offering a lower-priced option, excluding content such as ESPN, to appeal to those who may not be interested in sports.”

So how does Dish Network’s Sling TV stack up?

It has seven of the top 20 channels, available for $20 per month in its basic Internet TV package.

Sony’s PlayStation Vue has four of the top 20 in its basic package, which runs $50 per month, and 10 of the top 20 channels in its Elite package, which costs $70 per month.

To be clear, these are channels that consumers said they would want in a pay TV package –not what they would be willing to subscribe to as a direct-to-consumer service. We bet that list would look much different.

At the OTT Executive Summit this week, hosted by Trender Research, a panel of consumers ranging in demographics and age groups were posed a similar question. The Trender panel was made up of five consumers informally representing five different demographics: seniors, Generation Z, the Hispanic community, Millennials and middle-aged males.

They were asked if they would be willing to pay $5 per month for an OTT service that offered access to content from a specific celebrity, TV show or network.

-The “Dutiful Dad,” representing middle-aged males, said he would gladly pay $5 a month for access to NFL games.
-The “New Vision for Univision,” representing the Hispanic community, said she would pay $5 a month for access to Bravo network shows.
-The “Social Shark,” representing Millennials, said he would pay $5 a month to watch “Game of Thrones,” because “right now I’m paying $15 for that,” he said, referring to HBO Now.
-The “No-Tech Nana,” representing seniors, said she would pick “Jon Stewart.”
– And surprisingly, the “Chatty Teen,” representing Generation Z viewers, said she would rather have her Comcast TV package because it give her access to so many shows that she likes.

See: here for more information on the consumer panelists…

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