DVR Users Wait to Watch Prime-Time Shows

NEW YORK Here’s a stat that might interest NBC and Jay Leno, whose late-night show moves to 10 p.m. in the fall: DVR users don’t watch most of their prime-time television live. They do most such viewing with their machines set in playback mode between 10-11 p.m.

TiVo reported Thursday that the 9 p.m. time slot is the one most DVR users, 59 percent of them, prefer to record rather than watch live. The 8 p.m. slot is second with 58 percent and 10 p.m. is at 53 percent.

But while DVR users watch a little more TV live at 10 p.m. than they do earlier in prime time, many also are tuning out of that hour entirely because they are watching shows recorded earlier, as opposed to watching whatever happens to be on live during that slot. TiVo said that 30 percent of DVR users watch a show they have recorded within an hour of the show having aired live.

“The 10 p.m. slot is getting squeezed from both sides,” said Todd Juenger, vp and general manager of TiVo audience research and measurement.

TiVo bases its information on February data compiled by its Stop//Watch ratings service for ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC.

“The 10 p.m. programming also has a backstop from the 11 p.m. news or bedtime,” Juenger said. “While some viewers will record programs aired at 10 p.m. for viewing later in the week, many are abandoning that hour of television all altogether.”

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, about 35 million U.S. households contained a DVR at the end of 2008, and it’s expected to grow to 45 million, or 39 percent of all U.S. homes, by the end of this year. It’s assumed that at least 66 percent of DVR users fast-forward through commercials when they watch something in recorded mode.

While TiVo’s latest report focused on prime time only, the company said that 9 p.m. is also the most popular of all time slots for DVR recording.

Source: THR.com