As More Shows Are Available On Demand, I'm DVRing Fewer Shows

Categories: New TV Technology

Written By

January 28th, 2010

Beyond live sports, there's very little television that winds up being appointment television for me.  In fact, if not for this blog, it might be the case that I considered zero percent of the scripted fare available to be appointment TV.   Due to the blog -- or rather following many industry related sources -- I will certainly be watching Lost as appointment television.  But, I watched the first few seasons of Lost in DVD marathons, and if not for being worried about running into spoilers because of this blog, I'd probably watch the final season that way, too.

Those are personal preferences though.   I like a lot of shows, but lately my DVR has more shows from ABC, TNT, FOX and FX and fewer shows from NBC, CBS and USA Network.

That's because the On-Demand offering from NBC, CBS and USA Network are good, at least on Comcast  All the shows I watch on those networks are available, typically by the next day, and Burn Notice and White Collar are even available in HD On Demand now. No need to worry about DVRing them and I'm fine with watching those shows a day or two (or five or six) after they air.

None of the shows I watch on FOX are available on demand -- at least from Comcast.  In fact, nothing from the FOX broadcast network is available.  Fox's cable network, FX offers most of what I want to watch, even in HD, but the problem is rather than being available by the next day, they often take days.  As of last night Monday's Damages premiere still isn't available On-Demand so it's not clear to me whether that's an issue of delays or whether there are no plans to have it available On Demand.

Often I'd find that episodes of Sons Of Anarchy took as long as a week to show up, and I'm finding the same to be the case for Archer.

ABC's On-Demand offering is pretty weak.  Desperate Housewives and Lost are there.  So is Ugly Betty.  But many shows from The Middle and Modern Family to Castle are not available.

TNT has the shows I want to watch available, but new episodes are not promptly added the next day, and for whatever reason whereas a lot of shows/networks keep the last 3 or 4 episodes available On Demand, shows sometimes disappear from TNT's On Demand offering within a week.

I expect almost everything I watch to be available On-Demand by the next day  in a year or so.  That's when Nielsen begins including On Demand, along with online viewing into its TVandPC ratings for purposes of C3 measurement.   Currently C3 measures commercial live, plus 3 days worth of DVR viewing.

TVandPC will extend the 3 day measurement to include online and On Demand viewing for shows that have the same commercial loads as they have on TV.   Once that happens, I expect that both online and On Demand will move to include the same commercials, at least for the first 3 days after the show airs.  Nielsen will begin a months-long evaluation period TVandPC measurement beginning this fall.

 
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