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Research firm MAGNA has exhaustively sifted through Nielsen numbers to come up with some interesting stats on DVR use during the first month of the new season of prime-time TV.
While DVR penetration was roughly 28 percent in the U.S. overall, it’s 33 percent for adults ages 18-49. Time-shifting accounted for 11 percent of the national household ratings for the five broadcast networks in prime time (that number bumps up to 16 percent for adults 18-49). And in homes with a DVR, 40 percent of prime-time viewing is time-shifted (50 percent for those 18-49ers).
Nerds are evidently too busy to watch appointment television as just about every program in the action and sci-fi drama had above-average DVR playback. It’s not just nerds, though; popular medical dramas with ongoing stories like Grey’s Anatomy and House also had above-average DVR playback, as did other younger, more female-leaning serial dramas like Lipstick Jungle and Gossip Girl.
Younger audiences are time-shifting much more than the older generation. The average prime-time series had roughly 18 percent of adults ages 18-34 watching live, that number rose to 20 percent for people over 65. For time-shifted audience, the number of 18-to-34-year-olds bumped up to 31 percent while the over 65-and-older set fell to 6 percent.
Across the major broadcast networks, the median age for a time-shifting viewer is younger than those who watch live. The median age for NBC, ABC and CBS’ DVR audience is 10 years younger than those watching live. For FOX, the difference is five years; for the CW, it’s two years.