DVR Delayed Viewing Having A Larger Ratings Impact

This probably doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone who uses a DVR, or anyone who regularly reads this blog, as I’ve posted on this before, but DVR viewing is having a growing impact on television ratings. USA Today highlighted this in an article Monday.

According to Nielsen Media research’s numbers, these are the five most time-shifted shows for the week of September 22-28.

ProgramTotal 7-day Audience (millions)Timeshift viewers (millions)Percent increase
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)21.22.6+14.1%
House (Fox)14.62.2+17.8%
Fringe (Fox)11.41.9+20.3%
Heroes (NBC)12.01.9+18.4%
The Office (NBC)10.91.5+16.2%

Those are some pretty significant increases over the number of people who watched the episodes ‘live’. 28% of homes now have DVRs, up from 20% last fall. While new DVR users are reportedly not as fanatic about recording their programs, the sheer increase in numbers is having a growing impact on network programming. And the biggest impact is from viewers in their 30s, a prime audience. While the seven day numbers look good, networks still sell advertising based on lower three day ratings numbers. The industry needs to accept that DVRs are not only hear to stay, but rapidly consuming the market, and largely in the most valuable demographics, so advertising sales will need to adapt. It is really up to the networks to collectively take a stand and force change on the ad industry.

About MegaZone

MegaZone is the Editor of Gizmo Lovers and the chief contributor. He's been online since 1989 and active in several generations of 'social media' - mailing lists, USENet groups, web forums, and since 2003, blogging.    MegaZone has a presence on several social platforms: Google+ / Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn / LiveJournal / Web.    You can also follow Gizmo Lovers on other sites: Blog / Google+ / Facebook / Twitter.
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  • Tom

    I’m a little curious about this. The article implies the time shifting is through DVR use, although most networks have episodes available next day online. Is that considered time shifting or does that come under a different markerting category?

    I doubt online viewing is that significant, anyway, but it is growing. Plus the demographic that is doing most of the time shifting is the same demographic that would be viewing online.

  • MegaZone

    Nielsen only counts DVR time shifting, online viewing isn’t included. So if you counted that the numbers might be a little higher.