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DVR and Viewing Habits

By admin Published: October 16, 2007

As you may have heard, Nielsen is now measuring DVR viewing within a week of a show's telecast. It takes longer to get the numbers out as a result, but the networks are building their propaganda around the new stats, as you can see after the jump. ...

What follows is CBS's take on the early DVR numbers, which by its calculation benefited that network. So take this as propaganda, but look past that to see which shows are being recorded, and to consider how technology is finally catching up to something viewers have been doing for a long time. It began, of course, with VCRs, but that was a cumbersome process compared to the click-record/click-playback of the DVR. I know that in the House of Heldenfels we record far more shows for later viewing than I would ever collect on cassette. (I can also get more, thanks to the double-recording capability of a DVR.) And even if we fast-forward through the commercials, we still get snippets and glimpses, and of course still endure all that product placement within programs. So the DVR data will help the networks make money, and may keep some shows around longer than non-DVR measurements might have.
Anyway, here's CBS's release:

CBS is the official winner of premiere week in viewers for the sixth consecutive season, according to final Nielsen live plus seven day ratings for the week ending Sept. 30.

The live plus seven day ratings, which include all DVR playback within seven days of its live broadcast, moves CBS ahead of ABC which was the reported winner earlier based on live plus same day ratings.

CBS's originally reported premiere week live plus same day ratings were boosted by +6% in viewers and +9% in adults 18-49 (more than NBC and ABC) with live plus seven day playback included.

With live plus seven day playback included, 15 primetime shows received lifts of one million viewers or more including seven on CBS — more than any other network. They included CSI (2, tie), CSI: MIAMI (#5, tie), CRIMINAL MINDS (#5, tie), NUMB3RS (#9) and NCIS, CSI: NY and CANE (all tied at #10).

Among adults 18-49, CSI (#2, tie), CRIMINAL MINDS (#6, tie), CSI: MIAMI (#6, tie) and NUMB3RS (#10, tie) were among the Network's programs that benefited by the greatest lift.

Overall, the Big Four networks premiere week viewer delivery increased by +5% while adult 18-49 ratings increased by +8% over the reported live plus same day ratings.

Culling some data that I can't paste very well, the most-DVR'ed shows played back within a week, in descending order, were: Grey's Anatomy, CSI, Heroes, House, CSI: Miami, Criminal Minds, Bionic Woman, The Office, Numb3rs, Journeyman, NCIS, Private Practice, CSI:NY, Cane, Desperate Housewives.

Among 18-49-year-olds, the shows were: Heroes, CSI, Grey's Anatomy, House, The Office, Bionic Woman, Criminal Minds, CSI: Miami, Private Practice, Desperate Housewives, Journeyman, Numb3rs, Ugly Betty, Family Guy.

Among the interesting tidbits there is the high DVR level for both "Grey's" and "CSI." Since they're directly opposite each other, I think this suggests a lot of people who want to watch both, and are DVR-ing one or the other.

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