CBS Makes An Insane Amount Of Ad Dollars On DVR-ed Shows

YouTube screencapFollowing CBS upfronts, CEO Les Moonves disclosed the extremely high ad dollar potential for targeting DVR viewers who watch their favourite shows up to a week after they air.

“A little less than 20% of the ad buys this time around will be for people who watch later,” Moonves said, which according to Bloomberg adds up to a whopping $570 million.

Until fairly recently, advertisers have regarded DVR viewers with disdain. Who wants to reach someone who couldn’t be bothered to watch the show live, and may try to skip the commercials anyway?

And Moonves said that next year, some part of 85% of ad budgets will go to targeting people watching on DVR.

The new strategy makes sense. During the week that ended on March 10, 2013, CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory” only received a 5.5 live rating among the 18-49 year-old sweet spot versus a 7.5 rating in the seven-day DVR playback.

Moonves is now fighting for DVR viewing to be counted “equally” as live viewings when Nielsen calculates audience measurements.

“Some of our hit programs literally are only watched 60 per cent now live,” Moonves said at the Deutsch Bank Media and Telecom conference in early March. “We have over 10 shows that add 3-4 million that are watched after the live viewing of it.”

CBS has had a complex history with its attitude towards DVR viewing. The network has actively fought Dish Network’s Hopper DVR, which would allow viewers to automatically skip ads using AutoHop.¬†There are even rumours that CBS asked “Big Bang Theory” star¬†Kaley Cuoco to delete a tweet that praised the Hopper.

Considering the potential ad money to be made by DVR-ed shows, its hardly surprising that Moonves would be vehemently anti-Hopper.

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