Nets Team for DVR Appeal

NEW YORK In an unusual move, representatives of the six major broadcast networks will hold a joint press conference at NBC headquarters here on Wednesday to present their case for why advertisers should include DVR playback viewing as part of their media buys.

Nielsen Media Research next month begins tracking DVR playback data in its daily ratings reports. NMR is a unit of Adweek parent company VNU.

Excluding joint telethons for disaster relief, this is believed to be the first time all six networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, UPN and The WB) have made a joint presentation on an advertising-related issue. Their willingness to cooperate is an indication of just how important DVR has become as a potential revenue source.

The move comes just a week after Interpublic Group media buying arm Magna Global declared that it would not consider DVR playback viewing when it negotiates for TV time in next year’s upfront market, citing commercial skipping by viewers, among other reasons.

While DVR penetration is now estimated to be only about 8 million TV homes, and playback viewing is estimated to be only a small fraction (less than 5 percent) of the total TV audience, both sides believe it is important to address the issue before the DVR audience reaches critical mass in the next few years.