NBC News: Must DVR TV?

By Alex Weprin 

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NBC News has premiered an unorthodox new ad for “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.” As The New York Times’ Brian Stelter reports, the ad encourages viewers to DVR the show and watch later.

“A growing number of viewers tell me they time-shift the news,” Mr. Williams wrote. “Loyal viewers used to say ‘we watch you every night.’ These days, an increasing number make a point of saying ‘We RECORD you every night.’ ”

Williams’ comments are similar to ones he made last month at a summit hosted by Broadcasting & Cable in New York.

The strategy of encouraging viewers to DVR news programs is an unusual one, but for the nightly news programs, which have been losing viewers over the last few years, it may generate some much-needed revenue.

As long as a viewer watches a DVRed episode by 2 AM the next day, it is included in what Nielsen calls “Live plus same day” ratings. Often those numbers are used in advertising sales, so the more viewers that DVR a show, the more advertiisng revenue the show can generate.