Television

Digital Video Recorders benefit hit shows and advertisments: US networks

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MUMBAI: A new study conducted by executives from prominent US broadcast networks show that homes with Digital Video Recorders (DVR) watch significantly more television, and could increase the average primetime audience for a program by an average of 4 per cent. Interestingly, this is contrary to earlier claims that Digital Video Recorders would have an adverse impact on ad-supported television.

According to an official communiqué, released by DVR major Tivo, the networks highlighted multiple reports showing that DVR households watched 12 per cent more television, and that they are exposed to a greater number of commercial impressions. The results of these studies, though early, confirm what the networks' own proprietary studies have found all along: DVRs increase the viewing of television's most popular programming, as well as commercials, the release adds.

The study conducted by researchers from networks ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, UPN and the WB highlighted the following:

1) When factoring in DVR usage, primetime programs increase their audience by an average of 4 per cent. This figure is based on a study conducted by Nielsen that examined DVR usage in seven major markets, including Houston, Tampa, Denver, Orlando, Charlotte, Raleigh and Austin - regions with large enough samples to report DVR usage.

2) Homes with DVRs averaged 5.7 hours of television viewing per day, compared to 5.1 from homes without DVRs. This represents a 12 per cent increase in the amount of time spent watching TV.

3) Additionally, the networks' own proprietary research found that DVR viewers do pay attention to commercials, and that they show high levels of awareness/ recall on commercials they have fast-forwarded. Among the findings:

4) 58 per cent of DVR users pay attention to commercials even while fast forwarding

5) 53 per cent of DVR users have gone back to watch commercials they mistakenly skipped.

As per the study, the 10 most played back programs on DVRs were network television programs are:

1. Desperate Housewives

2. Survivor

3. CSI

4. Lost

5. American Idol

6. The Apprentice

7. 24

8. ER

9. The O.C.

10. Grey's Anatomy

DVR penetration in US households now stands at 8 per cent, representing 11.4 million viewers. By 2010, that number is expected to grow to 39 percent, adds the official release.

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