What You're Watching on Your DVRS: Weekly DVR Nielsen Ratings

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April 21st, 2008

We're very early to reporting  weekly DVR viewing as reported by Nielsen.  So far as we know, we're the only site giving the live plus seven days of DVR viewing any weekly focus.  Some of that is likely attributed to the notion that Nielsen lags behind in publishing the live plus seven day DVR viewing number by 2-3 weeks depending on which day the show aired. 

But there are some interesting trends in following the data on a weekly basis.   For example with the most recent data there were 27 broadcast primetime shows that had more than one million viewers via DVR

But no cable shows had a million viewers via DVR, not even the beloved Battlestar Galactica which didn't have enough total viewers to show up among the top cable shows.  Some of that I'll chalk up to crazed fans just *having* to watch the show live!  The Hills topped the cable DVR viewing list with 784,000 viewing the show via DVR bumping its total viewership up to 4.55 million.  That was fewer than those who watched America's Next Top Model via DVR on the CW Network where over a million watched on DVR to see who's "next".  Still, Tyra wound up overall with only 4.36 million viewers - fewer than The Hills.

Other things we've learned are that the propensity to time-shift just for purposes of skipping commercials or speeding through episodes is much greater with reality shows than scripted drama.  American Idol, which led all DVR viewing during broadcast primetime had 70% of its viewing occur the same night the show aired.  Meanwhile only around 21% watched CSI: NY via DVR the same night it aired with the rest watching later in the week. 

We're not yet sure what it's going to mean for the television advertising business, but we're sure that DVR usage is growing and more and more people are availing themselves to it and that next year, it will increase even more.

If you're interested in just a list of broadcast primetime shows that had the highest increase due to DVR usage, we have that too.  Number one was Beauty and the Geek - it only had 445,000 DVR viewers, but that increased its overall viewership by 30% over live viewing

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