Local on-demand TV viewing in US outpaces national average

Michelle Clancy | 28-11-2012

Time-shifted viewing in the nation's top local markets is outpacing the national average by 26%, according to new research from TVB analyzing the first six weeks of the US primetime broadcast season. In fact, the research shows that time-shifting is becoming an integrated part of broadcast viewing behaviour.
While industry observers have largely focused on the amount of national time-shifted viewing that occurs in the three days after programmes first air, according to data provided by Nielsen Media Research a substantial 43% of all time-shifted viewing is occurring on the same day the programming originally aired.
"On a national basis, same-day, time-shifted viewing rose to as high as 52% (for NBC's Parenthood, week 5) for some shows," said TVB Chief Research Officer Stacey Lynn Schulman. "However, local markets saw even greater lifts, climbing to as high as 91% (FOX's FRINGE, week 6 in the Cleveland DMA). "Six weeks into the season it is clear that time-shifted viewing has transcended 'sampling' and is becoming an essential component of local broadcast television viewing behaviour."
Across the top 25, an average of 18 programmes per market over-indexed the national average of live + same-day time-shifted viewing. However, some markets consistently over-delivered, including Chicago (44 programmes), Dallas (44 programmes), San Francisco (29 programmes), Los Angeles (38 programmes) and Houston (37 programmes).
"As DVR penetration and new technologies spread to local markets at a varied pace and audiences take advantage, it is becoming more apparent that the Live Only sample is shrinking," said Maribeth Papuga, executive vice president, and director of local investment and activation at MediaVest. "While we continue to note that these reported audiences still only reflect averages related to programme viewing, the TVB study demonstrates the increased usage of new technologies and time-shifted viewing across America's local markets."
There are, of course, serious ramifications for advertising. "High levels of time-shifted viewing in [local] markets reveals a large number of impressions not accounted for when media planning and buying is based on live-only data," said Steve Lanzano, TVB president and CEO. "Across all 25...markets for the first six weeks of the season, 140 million adults 25-54 impressions came from same-day, time-shifted viewing. These valuable impressions are growing with each new broadcast season and provide advertisers with the significant and unique local audiences that positively impact their marketing results."