Good News For Advertisers: Most DVR Users Watch Live TV


Good news for beleaguered television and ad executives: The DVR isn’t crushing their business! (Yet).

While 20% of households now have a DVR, 95% of all TV viewing is still done live, says Leichtman Research Group. How can this be? Don’t DVR users always skip commercials? Sure they do — when they watch recorded programs.

But Leichtman’s research says that DVR users only watch recorded television a sixth of the time — which combined with the fact that 80% of households have no DVR and don’t record TV at all, would mean that a little more than 3% of television is viewed via recorded DVR programming. (To get to the 5% number, Leichtman threw in “on demand” programming as well.)

The one-sixth figure sounds about right to us. Though we record a lot of television, we also watch a lot of sports — which we always watch live — and out of habit, still often end up looking for “what’s on” the boob tube rather than selecting from the catalogue we’ve already recorded. Yet we also have a hunch that over time, as we become more accustomed to the DVR, an increasing amount of TV we watch will be recorded. Which means the TV and ad guys will still need to figure out how to reach us, soon. Release via MediaPost.