NEW YORK Nielsen Media Research has issued its first ratings report to include data for TV shows recorded and viewed via digital video recorders.
As expected, the differences between the so-called "live" viewing that took place as shows aired and additional DVR viewing that occurred the same day were minimal, because Nielsen currently has only 60 DVR residences in its national 9,000-home panel.
Nielsen said it hopes to have a broader representative sample of DVR homes by July.
But there were differences in the two sets of ratings, which could be an early indicator of which shows are likely to be viewed more often in DVR playback mode.
On Dec. 26, five of 18 prime-time shows (27 percent) airing on the six national broadcast networks registered same-day DVR playback viewing, including House on Fox; Two and a Half Men, Out of Practice and CSI: Miami on CBS; and Medium on NBC.
House had the largest number of DVR viewers (30,000 out of a total of 5,791,000 viewers), according to the Nielsen data. That was enough to bump the show's audience, ages 18 to 49, by one-tenth of a rating point from a 2.2 live rating to a 2.3 live plus same day rating. (The viewer totals are projected numbers that reflect the entire Monday audience.)
Over the course of a season, a tenth of a rating point can mean millions of dollars in advertising for a show, depending on its audience size and rate card.
Most of the in-home DVR watchers appeared to be women, because the show's female 18-49 rating moved from a 2.7 live rating to a 2.8 for live plus same day DVR watching.
Viewing among men 18-49 remained the same at a 1.7 rating, according to both sets of Nielsen data.
Medium had the second-largest DVR audience Monday night with 24,000 out of 8,023,000 total viewers. But with a total audience that was 2.2 million viewers larger than House's, the additional amount of DVR viewers was not large enough to increase any of the separate demographic ratings for the show. The same was true for CSI: Miami, which had nine DVR viewers out of a total audience of almost 13 million. Ratings were also unchanged for the other two series.
On Wednesday, Nielsen (owned by Adweek parent VNU) told clients that it was experiencing "complications" in processing all the new data on the normal timetable and that Tuesday's ratings would be delayed until late Thursday, while Wednesday's ratings would be available Friday.