Monday, October 11, 2010

Breaking Down "Live + Same Day"


Most ratings we see and discuss every day are "Live + Same Day DVR," which means the people who watch the program live plus the people who watch via a DVR within the "same day," or between the air time and 3:00am when the numbers get sent to Nielsen for processing. We all know DVRs play a big role in viewing, but when I think about DVR viewing, I mostly think about some of the later numbers (Live + 7 days of DVR viewing, for example). That's not really accurate, though. How about DVRs simply within the Live + Same Day numbers we're used to seeing?

I've taken a look at the Live + SD numbers along with the Live Only numbers for week two* of the 2010-11 regular season, and with some simple subtraction I can get the Same Day DVR numbers as well. This will be a three-post project about "the importance of DVR viewing." I'm not talking about how valuable DVR viewing is to advertisers or how much commercial viewing is done on DVRs. Those are important, maybe even more important, but I'm just talking about how DVRs affect Live + SD numbers, both in terms of the pure "Same Day" numbers as well as whether DVRing keeps people from watching in later hours.

*Why week two? Because unlike during premiere week, almost all the regularly scheduled programs are in place, and unlike for week 3 most stuff is airing "on time" (AKA no NFL overrun messing up the CBS Sunday start times). That's important because overruns can and do mess up DVR usage. I'm leaving out reruns, NFL overruns, and football pre-game shows, though I did include primetime football games just to give some sense of how heavily viewed sports are on a "live" basis.

This post looks at some of the most heavily-DVRed and least-DVRed shows, while the next two will look at the meaning of it all from a couple different angles. More averages info to come, but for now the most basic one: in the week I examined, the average Live + SD adults 18-49 ratings result consisted of about 85% live viewing and about 15% DVR viewing. In other words, for every adult age 18-49 watching via DVR within the same day window, there are almost six others watching live.

Now for some top 5 lists. We'll just start with the week's top 5 Live + SD programs.


L+SD Live SDDVR %Live %SDDVR
NFL Football 8.0 7.7 0.3 96.25% 3.75%
Glee 5.9 4.0 1.9 67.80% 32.20%
DWTS Mon 4.8 4.1 0.7 85.42% 14.58%
2.5 Men 4.8 4.0 0.8 83.33% 16.67%
Modern Family 4.6 3.3 1.3 71.74% 28.26%

You can see just from this list that there's a pretty wide variety of amounts that same-day DVR factors in. And NFL football is not just the biggest hit on a Live + SD basis, but it's also just as "DVR-proof" as they say it is.

Here's the Live top 5. Mostly the same shows, but Sunday Night Football's lead is even more considerable.


L+SD Live SDDVR %Live %SDDVR
Football 8.0 7.7 0.3 96.25% 3.75%
DWTS Mon 4.8 4.1 0.7 85.42% 14.58%
Glee 5.9 4.0 1.9 67.80% 32.20%
2.5 Men 4.8 4.0 0.8 83.33% 16.67%
Simpsons 4.2 3.7 0.5 88.10% 11.90%

And now the most heavily viewed shows using same-day DVR.
 

L+SD Live SDDVR %Live %SDDVR
Glee 5.9 4.0 1.9 67.80% 32.20%
Big Bang Theory 4.4 3.1 1.3 70.45% 29.55%
Modern Family 4.6 3.3 1.3 71.74% 28.26%
Grey's Anatomy 4.6 3.3 1.3 71.74% 28.26%
HIMYM 3.9 2.8 1.1 71.79% 28.21%
Survivor 3.5 2.4 1.1 68.57% 31.43%
House 3.8 2.7 1.1 71.05% 28.95%
The Office 3.7 2.7 1.0 72.97% 27.03%

I threw in The Office just to have all the shows that get 1.0 or more of their Live + SD demo from DVR usage, 8 out of 84 shows total. Almost all these shows get a very similar percentage from the DVR (~30%). Notice that the Live and the Same Day top lists have only one show in common.

Here are the shows for which the "live" viewing made up the highest percentage. I should note, of course, that particularly with the lower-rated shows there's a lot of rounding involved. The Good Guys was certainly not DVRed by literally no one, and the number could hypothetically be as low as about 87% (if Live + SD was a 0.74999 and Live was a 0.65)
 

L+SD Live SDDVR %Live %SDDVR
Good Guys 0.7 0.7 0.0 100.00% 0.00%
CBS College FB 2.9 2.8 0.1 96.55% 3.45%
NFL Football 8 7.7 0.3 96.25% 3.75%
The Defenders 2.5 2.4 0.1 96.00% 4.00%
Detroit 1-8-7 2.1 2.0 0.1 95.24% 4.76%

There is some rounding going on with this top 5, but 29 of 83 shows had 90%+ live viewing, so there are a lot of shows viewed almost entirely live. On the next list, once again rounding enters play with the CW shows, but there are several others in that 30% DVR range.


L+SD Live SDDVR %Live %SDDVR
Glee 5.9 4.0 1.9 67.80% 32.20%
Survivor 3.5 2.4 1.1 68.57% 31.43%
90210 1 0.7 0.3 70.00% 30.00%
One Tree Hill 1 0.7 0.3 70.00% 30.00%
Big Bang Theory 4.4 3.1 1.3 70.45% 29.55%

It may not seem this way yet, but the original idea that led to this post was the struggles of the 10:00 hour. The next post is where I'll look at this stuff on an hour-by-hour basis. For a preview, you can look at this % Same Day DVR top 5. They're all in the 8:00 hour. There are a few shows with particularly young audiences at 9:00 that flirt with that 30% mark, but almost all the most heavily same day DVRed shows by percentage are at 8:00. Coincidence? Not at all. More on DVR usage hour-by-hour in the next post.

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