2 in 3 Viewers Time-shift TV

August 18, 2010

Almost two-thirds of US consumers (62%) have watched time-shifted primetime TV series through technologies that include VOD, DVR and the internet, according to the “TVPulse” survey from cable provider Comcast.

Time Shifting On the Rise
Time-shifted TV viewing is on the rise, with 61% of consumers using time-shifting technologies more than one year ago, and 84% using them more than just three years ago. Top reasons consumers are using time-shifting technologies include personal schedules (79%) and programming conflicts (63%).

Of the 80-plus % of consumers that regularly watch primetime TV, nearly half say they watch or record three to four primetime TV series in a typical week (44%). In addition, a substantial majority of viewers plan to watch or record TV during the 8-10 PM timeframe (87% between 8-9 PM and 88% between 9-10 PM).

8 in 10 Consumers Will Watch Live TV this Fall
Viewing habits of all national consumers and Comcast TV subscribers differ in some respects. While the percentages of both groups who plan to watch live TV this fall are virtually identical (80% of national consumers and 81% of Comcast subscribers), national consumers are more likely to time-shift programs via DVR (41% compared to 32%).


Conversely, Comcast subscribers are almost twice as likely to time-shift programs via On Demand (30% compared to 17%). Percentages who watch TV online and via mobile device are identical or almost identical.

Consumers Ready for Drama
Half of consumers polled (49%) say the new fall TV season is important to them. Consumers are most excited to watch:

  • Dramas (75%)
  • Comedies (68%)
  • Movies (57%)
  • News/Educational (50%)
  • Sports (45%)
  • Reality shows (38%)

TV Ads Reach 85% of Viewers
TV viewers tend to stay in the room and keep watching when a commercial airs, according to a study from the Council for Research Excellence.

The Video Consumer Mapping (VCM) study sponsored by the Council for Research Excellence indicates that TV advertising and program promotions reach 85% of adults daily. Viewers typically see 26 advertising or promotional breaks, at an average of two minutes and 46 seconds per break, accounting for 73 minutes each day.

The frequency of channel-changing and /or changing rooms is very similar in the few minutes before a commercial break, during the commercial break and in the few minutes after the commercial break.

About the Data: This survey was conducted by an independent research firm, International Communications Research, on behalf of Comcast. Nationwide 1,000 individuals were surveyed.

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