Although many advertisers, and by extension programmers, may find time-shifted viewing nettlesome, growth in DVR usage for cable shows has been so brisk that the trend warrants a closer look—particularly considering that such viewing greatly coalesces with popular original series, cable’s ace in the summer hole. Last summer, the greatest percent increase in TV show viewership (18-49s) culled from time-shifted viewing was the 48% achieved by Sci Fi‘s "Eureka," according to Turner research based on Nielsen data; so far this season the same series counts a 60% boost as 1 of 8 cable shows that have achieved increases greater than 48%, led by Sci Fi’s "Stargate Atlantis" with 100%. "These are big, big numbers," said Turner research chief Jack Wakshlag, proof that an increasing number of cable shows "have passionate audiences." Also notable is the diminishing number of broadcast series that made the DVR lift list this year versus last year. Based on time-shifted viewing during May sweeps—a reasonable comparison to cable’s summer—half of the top 20 shows making last year’s list were on NBC, ABC, CBS or The CW. This year, only 6 made the list. Additional data bear out sharp growth in DVR usage. DVR penetration now sits at one-quarter of US homes, according to Nielsen, a healthy increase from the 5% reported just 10 months ago. That’s approx 28mln HHs—53% cable subs, 40% satellite—of which approx one-third have a DVR connected to multiple TVs. Puts the disagreement between Cablevision and several programmers/studios over the MSO’s remote storage DVR in perspective, doesn’t it? Even so, griping from CNN over the device may be a tad overzealous, as various research shows that news is 1 of the least popular genres for DVR use. "We know that [time-shifted viewing] is not just a function of how old a viewer is," said Hallmark svp, research Jess Aguirre, noting that movies aren’t a popular genre for DVR use either. "It’s about genre, [ad] matchflow and environment." Even as Nielsen data shows that DVRs comprise 5% of all total day viewing and 14% in prime, more than 98% of movies are watched live, said Aguirre. That may make DVR use less meddlesome to Hallmark and its advertisers than it does to many others, but growth in time-shifted viewing across cable should not be overlooked.

The Daily


Breezeline Kicks Off IPTV Journey

Breezeline (formerly Atlantic Broadband) debuted its IPTV service Breezeline Stream TV Tuesday.

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