By Extending Primetime, DVR Changes the Ratings Equation

By Andrew Gauthier 


TV’s fastest growing network isn’t a network at all — it’s the DVR.

Viewers significantly upped their DVR use during premiere week, helping to bolster sampling for several new series.

“This time of the year, the DVR is definitely a positive for the networks,” said CBS chief research officer David Poltrack. “In a world where it’s difficult to get your product sampled, the DVR is an enabler.”

According to premiere-week numbers, DVRs are actually extending primetime both earlier and later, which is good news for the nets. At least in week one, that means some viewers were consuming four or five hours of primetime fare a night instead of the usual three.

Over all, that may have contributed to the strong launches of several new shows — as frosh entries like “Glee,” “Modern Family” and “FlashForward” are all off to nice starts, and returnees “Big Bang Theory” and “NCIS” are back with a vengeance. More…