Increasingly, the time-slot competition, especially on Fridays is the DVR;
Early DVR playback data for last week shows large playback increases versus the same week one year ago according to Variety:
Those programs are now all competing with primetime programming stored on DVRs. In other words, Conan O’Brien’s competition isn’t just David Letterman or “Nightline” — it’s that episode of “The Office” that aired earlier in the evening.
Those hours before and after primetime, as well as on Friday and Saturday nights, have became catch-up time for viewers. According to Poltrack, DVR use was up 46% on Friday in primetime compared to last year — which further explains why the nets barely registered on the night.
“There’s so much on Thursday night that people want to watch, so many programs, that last week a lot of that Thursday-night viewing spilled into Friday,” he said.
Poltrack suspects that some of those Friday shows were then recorded by viewers and played back on Saturday.
For Monday through Thursday last week, DVR playback during primetime hours was up around 36%, and up 34% during 11 p.m. newscasts and 27% during latenight.
Buried very deeply in the story is something that was front page news here on TV by the Numbers!
For all the talk that the networks experienced a strong premiere week, Wakshlag noted that the nets were still down as a whole in week one vs. last year.