TV Execs Figure Out DVR Isn't The Death Of TV After All [Silicon Alley Insider]
A few years ago with digital video recorders coming into vogue, many broadcast television executives expressed a nervousness about how the future of ad-supported broadcast TV would be affected if viewers could simply record and fast-forward past the commercial breaks. But, as it turns out, they probably didn't have much to be concerned about. The New York Times reports that Nielsen data shows that DVR viewers are increasingly not fast-forwarding past the commercials (with the exception of my wife). And, the kicker is that DVR playback rates are increasing the ratings of some shows more than 20 percent over the live viewership.
Nielsen switched the way it measured television viewing a couple of years ago by tracking not only live views of commercials, but those watched in the next three days via DVR. Today, over one-third of American households have at least one DVR. Those in the network television business openly voiced concerns about the new measurements having a negative impact on show ratings - the yardstick for the cost of advertising on the shows - because viewers had the ability to skip the commercials with DVR technology.
But, it appears that many viewers are accustomed to simply watching television shows without going to the hassle of hitting the fast-forward button every time a commercial comes on. Nielsen reports that 46 percent of DVR television viewers 18 to 49 watch the recorded commercials, and it's that viewership that is helping shows that might otherwise have poor to middling ratings with live viewership report respectable if not great ratings via their recorded viewership.