Originally published: June 12, 2012
Last updated: June 12, 2012 - 6:50pm
The increasing usage of digital video recorders, which easily allow viewers to postpone watching their favorite shows, has vastly complicated the math of TV ratings, new Nielsen data show.
Nielsen says 44% of homes now have DVRs, and though the adoption rate has slowed recently, those who have the devices are using them more often. Just 47% of viewing by young-adult DVR users was live, down from 61% four years earlier. That's made delayed viewing a bigger piece of the total ratings puzzle, and left networks more patient with seemingly low-rated shows. The audience for Fox's Friday sci-fi drama Fringe, for example, surged 55% (and a stunning 73% among young adults) once viewing up to six days later was factored in. In general, the most popular shows got the biggest net lift, while on a percentage basis, genre shows airing on low-rated Fridays got the biggest bump, along with NBC's Up All Night and Fox's canceled House and Alcatraz.
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