Watching Shows On DVR Might Save Them From Being Canceled

Stop feeling guilty for watching network TV on your DVR — you might not be contributing to the threat of low ratings, as the programming world is starting to take notice of shows that perform well up to a week after airing.

The New York Times reports that the shift comes as networks monitor not only how shows are watched by viewers during the “commercial plus three” or C3 ratings (the time when advertisers pay networks) but for over a whole seven days of sitting on your DVR, waiting for the right time.

Of course, while that might indicate something about a show’s audience, advertisers might not even care, as often ads are aimed at special events within a few days of a show’s airing. Or, as we see it, no one with a DVR is even watching commercials — what would the point in that be?

The bigwigs think it’s important though, so that’s something, especially when saving specific shows like Fox’s Fringe.

“More and more our obsession has to be how to engage and count viewers wherever they are,” network programmer Kevin Reilly told the NYT. “If that’s on a DVR, that counts too.”

Even if you’re not watching ads on your DVR, you’re still watching it and at some point, might watch it without a DVR.

“You’d be foolish not to look at the DVR performance as a measure of the potential a program has,” said Alan Wurtzel, the president for research at NBC. “You have to recalibrate everything: what’s a hit; what’s a marginal show; what’s a failure.”

The other thing about DVRs, says the story, is that by now, if you wanted one, you’d have one, and those worried about the costs involved in paying the bills on one aren’t likely to start ponying up the cash now.

Networks See Ratings Hope in DVR Viewers [New York Times]