December 14, 2005
DVRs and Advertising

Last month a report issued by ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, the WB, and UPN argued that DVRs like TiVo would increase the audience for network programming. The report was an effort to allay fears that DVR technology would erode the audience for ad-supported television.

However, new research suggests that consumers are purchasing DVR devices because of their ability to time-shift and their ability to skip commercials. The president of the group that performed the study states "...the consumers want to control not just what they watch and when they watch, but also the ability to avoid commercial placements."

Twenty-three percent of all consumers polled said that they planned to buy a DVR in the next six months. So the networks may be right: the audience for network programming is increasing...but the audience for network advertising isn't.