Nielsen: DVR Viewing Goes On and On

Research Company Finds 5% of Total Viewing of Some Shows Occurs 8 to 29 Days after Premiere
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Viewers continue to watch TV shows on their DVRs more than a week after they air.

According to a new report from Nielsen, for the top 10 shows reporting viewing after 7 days, about 5% of all viewing occurs between 8 days and 29 days after a show airs, a significant figure not widely reported previously. Science-fiction shows also tend to get high levels of long-delayed playback.

With networks and advertisers currently debating how to monetize delayed viewing beyond the current three-day standard, the new report could stir additional debate. Several senior media executives want to sell ads based on the number of viewers who watch within seven days of air. The idea is getting some traction with advertisers who don't have very time-specific messages, such as movie studios, retailers and auto companies.

The amount of time-shifted viewing varies by media type. For broadcast, on average, 1.1% of viewing happens between 8 days after air and 29 days. According to Nielsen, 87.2% of viewing of broadcast shows are seen live, 5.5% are seen the same day and 6.1% are seen within seven days.

On cable, 0.6% of viewing occurs beyond seven days, with 93.3% live, 3.4% on the same day and 2.8% within 7 days. For syndication, 0.3% of viewing comes beyond seven days.  Just over 94% of syndication viewing takes place live, with 3.4% on the same day and 1.9% within 7 days.

Nielsen also said that people spent 4 hours and 24 minutes watching TV live during the third quarter, up from 4:22 a year ago. DVR playback rose to 22 minutes from 21 minutes a year ago. DVR playback dropped to 10 minutes from 12 minutes, while video game use remained steady at 13 minutes.

American also spent close to five hours a week on a computer, using the internet and watching video content.