Any Time Is Prime Time Online for TV Shows, DVR Ad-Skipping Up

February 5, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Media & Entertainment | Television

Nearly 80 million Americans (43% of the online population) have watched one of their favorite TV shows on the Internet, up significantly from 12 months ago when that figure was just 25%, according to (pdf) a study by the Solutions Research Group.


A full 20% of online Americans surveyed say they watch TV on the web on a weekly basis – ahead of the 14% who say they take advantage of cable’s video-on-demand offerings.

The findings are from the quarterly Digital Life America tracking study, which interviewed 1,150 Americans age 12 and older in November 2007, to take advantage of the fall sweeps with its strong first-run prime time content, and capture a realistic picture of multi-platform TV viewing.

Other findings:

  • “To watch a specific show” was the main reason cited for 21% of all visits to major network websites in November 2007.


  • Of the major network sites, received the highest-user experience score among those who streamed a TV show, with 52% rating their overall experience as “excellent,” followed by (44% “excellent”).
  • Top major network TV shows viewed on the internet included Heroes, Grey’s Anatomy, Dancing with the Stars, Ugly Betty, Chuck, CSI and House, Kitchen Nightmares, Smallville and Gossip Girl.
  • Those who had viewed one of the leading 20 prime time shows in the previous 24 hours (titles such as Grey’s Anatomy, House, Survivor-China and 17 others) were asked to identify the source of viewing:
    • Overall, 25% of prime time viewing was time-shifted using a DVR, broadband, mobile or similar.
    • Among viewers 18-34, one-third (34%) of viewing was time-shifted.
    • And among 18-49 households with a DVR, a remarkable 55% of the leading 20 shows were time-shifted.


  • If a household has a DVR and broadband, DVR is the preferred means of time-shifting. DVR users are becoming more aggressive in skipping commercials – 65% say they “always” skip commercials compared with 52% a year ago.

About the data: The Digital Life America 2007-Q4 Edition study has a special section exploring the evolution of TV viewing. The results cited are based on a survey of 1,150 online Americans aged 12 and older in November 2007 using a professionally managed panel representative of the US online population by age, gender, region, and ethnicity.

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