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Some 17.2% of US TV households have a digital video recorder, according to Nielsen Media Research, which just four months ago started reporting audience ratings in DVR households; that’s 1.4 percentage more than the proportion of DVR households (15.8%) in Nielsen’s current national TV ratings sample.

The biggest US media markets are much more “digital” than the rest of the country, according to Nielsen. Dallas-Fort Worth leads with 26.5% DVR penetration, followed by Los Angeles (25.9%), San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose (23.5%), and Washington, DC (23.0%).

Nielsen last week also released its first look at the most “timeshifted” broadcast network television programs in the US. FOX’s House and ABC’s Lost experienced the most lift in audience numbers due to playback with a DVR within seven days of initial airing during the week of April 2 – April 8.


House pulled in an additional 2.74 million DVR viewers after its April 3 airing; Lost pulled in an additional 2.47 million viewers after its April 4 airing. The April 3 episode of American Idol on FOX was third with 2.45 million viewers.

On a percentage basis, however, The Office had the highest gain in viewing with DVR playback, increasing viewership by more than 31%.

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