TV watching lower among Sky+ users

Owners of Sky+ devices like this Sky HD PVR tend to watch less TV than regular viewers

An ongoing study into TV watching habits has revealed that personal video recorder (PVR) owners watch less TV than their non-PVR owning counterparts - but this doesn't necessarily mean it's the box under the TV that's made them that way.

Instead viewers research group Attentional says its social class that's the determining factor, with more PVRs being installed in homes of professional ABC1 types, who generally tend to watch less telly anyway. To prove it, Attentional says:

"Sky+ viewers do behave like non-Sky+ viewers of the same demographic type. There are only slight differences in the content Sky+ viewers watch relative to their non-Sky+ peers. Sky+ viewers watch more Factual Entertainment and a little less Drama (though Drama is the most recorded genre)."

Ad-skipping irony

That's good news for TV advertisers who may have become convinced that PVRs are reducing the number of eyeballs that see their expensively-produced ads.

"The main impact of PVRs on advertising is therefore likely to be through 'ad-skipping', and not additionally compounded by a strong decline in the overall levels of viewing," Attentional says.

It is, of course, ironic that the very same people who make TV ads are also the ones who are most likely to be in the ABC1 socio-economic group and so watch less TV to begin with - PVR or not.

The full results of the survey are expected soon.