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Cable Technology Feature Article

August 17, 2010

Survey Says That More TV Viewers Create Their Own Primetime

By Isaac Chacon, TMCnet Contributor

Watching your favorite TV program has never been so easy since the creation of DVR, on demand and even the Internet. David Bauder of the Associated Press (News - Alert) reported that now more than half of television viewers do not watch live programming anymore.

This new trend in time shifting can be traced to time conflict due to overlap in programs, work or even parenting. Even those pesky 200 and some-odd second breaks for commercials can be a source.

A survey showed that sixty percent of people own a DVR device and compared to three years ago, more than half the people are using the feature “significantly.”

I see this very progression in my own family. My sister, who has a 5 year old and a three year old son, lives off of TiVo (News - Alert) for a variety of reasons. For one they can record all of the kid’s favorite shows and air it whenever they want to whether it’s before a nap to settle them down or even after to get their motors started again, without the risk of a lame show being aired at that random, given time. It’s also a way for them to enjoy all their favorite programs they miss because they have to cook dinner, bathe the kids or put them to bed.

My other sister uses DVR for a completely different reason, to eliminate any commercial break and making the program run smoother and faster.

This elimination of commercials may be the beginning of the end for commercials, or at least an evolution of how they’re aired. For instance, whenever I want to watch some of my favorite shows on Hulu (News - Alert) or even the network’s site that airs it, they replace long commercial breaks with a single thirty second ad that can’t be fast-forward or skipped. This may ensure a future for commercials to give products exposure and TV networks’ revenue.

This sudden shift to use of DVR, on demand and online streaming may completely television viewing perhaps in the near future.

In related news, TiVo and Cox (News - Alert) Communications have teamed up to offer TiVo Premiere with integrated Cox On Demand service to Cox subscribers.

Isaac Chacon is a TMCnet contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.