Tuesday, May 13, 2008

With DVR Use Growing, Network and Cable Execs Rethink Strategies

I’d like to see this get to the point where we have so much content that consumers can actually plan their lives around knowing that they don’t have to plan their lives.

-Peter C. Stern, the executive vice president for product management at Time Warner Cable

In Brian Stelter, "In the Age of TiVo and Web Video, What Is Prime Time?" New York Times, May 12, 2008

About 25% of US households now use a digital video recorder (DVR) to time-shift shows and skip commercials, according to Nielsen. The number was 15% a year ago. TV executives say that the increase is showing up in the low ratings for the scheduled viewing of programs. Those ratings sometimes rise strongly when DVR use and online viewing are taken into account. Network TV executives' sense that more and more viewers are planning their viewing via DVRs, the internet and video-on-demand (VOD), and that has already begun to change the way the executives plan network schedules. Cable firms such as Time Warner see their DVR and VOD technologies as helping to cement viewers' relationships to them. Some years from now, the notion of linear television--watching the screen according to programs lineups set by programmers--may well be a thing of the past for most people.

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