Leno Helps NBC Fight TiVo at 10 p.m.

NEW YORK Thanks largely to the Jay Leno Show, audiences to the big three networks are watching more live TV in the 10 o’clock hour so far this season, according to data crunched by TiVo. And among the big three, Leno has made NBC the least TiVoed network in the hour, while last season it was the most TiVoed during that time period.

TiVo reports that for the first two weeks of the season, less than half of Leno’s audience (46 percent) opted to view the show in time-shifted mode in homes with TiVo DVRs. By comparison, 70 percent of the audiences tuning into NBC shows between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. last season did so in time-shifted mode.

Time-shifting at the 10 o’clock hour is also down at CBS, but the decrease is small compared to NBC’s. So far this season, 65 percent of the audiences to CBS shows in that hour are playing back shows on DVRs, compared to 68 percent last season. For ABC, TiVoing is up slightly in the hour to 63 percent from 62 percent.

“Depending on who you ask, NBC’s glass is either half full or half empty,” said Todd Juenger, vp and gm, TiVo audience research and measurement. “While Leno is succeeding in reducing the amount of time-shifted viewing for NBC’s 10 p.m. time slot, he certainly isn’t ‘TiVo-proof.'”

And there’s a question about just how much the time shifting in the hour is affecting viewing to late local newscasts and the nets’ late-night programs, particularly at NBC, where 20 percent of the 10 p.m. playback viewing occurs within one hour of recording. That’s up from 13 percent last season.

“Those time-shifted viewers are nearly twice as likely to watch within one hour, displacing NBC’s 11 p.m. time slot,” said Juenger. Increases also occurred at ABC and CBS, to 18 percent and 16 percent, respectively.