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TV Time-Shifting Most Popular During Mornings and Primetime
An Alphonso report looks at when viewers are more likely to see TV ads live and when they're more likely to DVR right past them.

Time-shifting TV content—using a DVR to watch programs after they've aired—is a popular option, and TV data company Alphonso has released a report showing when it's most popular.

Aimed at advertisers, the report helps them understand when viewers are most likely to delay seeing ads—possibly skipping over them altogether. "Knowing the impact of time-shifted TV viewing on live TV consumption is critical to understanding TV advertising ROI," writes Jarvis Mak, chief customer officer at Alphonso, in the introduction.

Live viewing as a percentage of total viewing is at its lowest between 8 and 10 AM, when 70 percent of viewers watch live. Primetime live viewing is also low, at 74 percent. More live viewing occurs during the daytime and weekend early mornings, when 86 percent watch live.

Alphonso found the most DVR activity between 3 and 4 PM on weekdays, when viewers skip the soaps and game shows. Primetime viewers were least likely to watch live on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Looking at genres, Alphonso finds fantasy gets DVR'ed more than anything else, with 36 percent of primetime fantasy viewers watching with a DVR. Sports and sports news are almost always watched live (96 percent).

"Other than live sports, DVR services may be one of the last moats to keep people connected to large TV screens and most importantly for the MVPDs, their subscription services," Mak said in an interview. "To stem the tide of cord-cutting, especially among young people 25-and-under, the MVPDs should be motivated to make DVR services as widely and freely available as possible."

The report uses Alphonso TV Data Cloud findings from Q4 2016. Download "TV Data Report: Time Shifting" for free (no registration required).

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