Over half US TV shows are time-shifted

PVR manufacturer Tivo today revealed that the five biggest season premieres on US TV this January all attracted over half their viewing on a time-shifted basis.

The two biggest shows - ABC's Lost and Fox's 24 - only had about a third of their viewers watching live - the remaining two thirds catching up with the show hours or days later.

TiVo rating data is derived from a daily, aggregate, anonymous, stratified random sample of 100,000 TiVo subscribers - from which the second-by-second "clickstream" of behavior and viewership is collected and assessed.

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The DVR company noted that about 30 per cent of people time-shifting popular shows shifted their viewing by an hour or less - suggesting that they are only doing it to avoid watching the interminable commercial breaks that plague US network television.

Most of the rest of time-shifters catch up with a show within a day of its broadcast time, with the remaining 15-25 per cent watching it later that week or not at all.

More people tuned to watch brand new programmes - like Lie to Me starring Tim Roth - with only around 40 per cent of people time-shifting series premieres.

Tivo also tracks which adverts are more or less likely to be fast-forwarded through. It found that the least fast-forwarded brands were Bud Lite beer and movie trailers for Taken, Pink Panther 2 and He's Just Not That Into You.