Thursday, October 14, 2010

Breaking Down "Live + Same Day": New Show DVRing

In the last two posts, I've tried to spell out exactly what we mean when we say a "Live + Same Day" rating. I've looked at some of the most/least same day DVRed shows as well as the inherent (if fairly small) disadvantage that the 10:00 hour has in same day DVRing and by extension in the Live + SD numbers we all treat as gospel.

This time, I'm looking at new shows. To record a program on the DVR, you do have to engage with/be aware of a show that hasn't aired yet. Not that it's a lot of work, but the show doesn't magically appear. We DVRers do this with shows we like, we don't do it with shows we don't like. And new shows, AKA shows we don't know whether we like or not?  Well...

I said in the first post that for the week I looked at (week 2 of this season), the average Live + Same Day result was almost exactly 85% Live and about 15% Same Day DVR. Take out the unscripted shows and there's only a tiny bit more same day DVRing in scripted shows; it becomes about 84% Live, 16% DVR.

Now, I've already looked at how much less DVRing there is at 10:00 (only a little over 10%).  How about for new shows vs. returning shows?

Averages L+SD Live SDDVR %Live %SDDVR
New Scripted 2.21 1.96 0.25 89.39% 10.61%
Returning Scripted 2.81 2.27 0.54 81.40% 18.60%

In the Live + SD numbers we always see, only a little over 10% of new show viewing is on the DVR, and that's 8 percentage points less than with the average returning show.

Do more DVRers show up over time? Comparing all the series premieres this year and all the second episodes, the Same Day DVR percentage dropped a bit, from 11.9% to 10.5%. But my guess is that over time, looking at shows that are ultimately successful, same day DVRing does increase; look at the first post to see how heavily second-year shows Glee and Modern Family were DVRed.

So... does this matter? Again, I'm leaning toward "not much." Like with 10:00 shows, new shows seem to have a bit of a "same day disadvantage," but that can be overcome. I don't have 2009-10 Live Only numbers, so maybe the low DVRing is just a symptom of this year's new show weakness rather than a yearly thing, but it's hard to believe Glee and Modern Family were so heavily DVRed from the outset.

And as with 10:00, the disadvantage is noticeable when you compare percentages, but if you put them on a level playing field with returning shows (in other words, same live viewing but upped the DVR% to the same as returning shows), that'd mean giving them about 0.2 more in the demo. Sort of interesting, but not really a game-changer. Giving each show an additional 0.2 would not make this year's terribly-rated crop of new shows into a bunch of hits, not by a long shot.

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