CBS: Don't Blame Us For At-Work TV

Everyone knows most online videos are watched at work. Right?

No, they’re not, says CBS. The broadcaster says its online viewership peaks twice each night — once at 7pm on the east coast, and then again three hours later, when west coast viewers get home.Veoh has told us a similar story, which may mean that while most video is watched during the day, certain types of video — presumably longer clips or full shows — are not.

For CBS, viewing for individual shows online tends to peak right before a new episode airs, as fans catch up on ones they’ve missed. The downside: The more people watch at night, the more likely they are to cut back on honest-to-goodness prime time television, which is much more valuable for the network. CBS execs say that’s inevitable, but that it hasn’t yet affected ratings.

This is another line we’ve heard consistently from the networks — putting their shows online doesn’t cut into their core business. That may even be true right now, but at some point there’s going be a real channel conflict for the broadcasters. Their optimistic spin: If viewers are going to cut back on TV in favour of the Web, they’d rather have them watching network Web sites.

From February internal stats on

44 million video views
124 million page views

Earlier: More Web Time = Less Prime Time

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