For the past few years, networks have been touting the point-of-view that Live +Same Day ratings are now less than important than Live +Seven and that Nielsen ratings do not adequately measure the rapidly changing ways that viewers are consuming television. At the network’s TCA panels, NBC’s President of Research & Media Development Alan Wurtzel made a compelling case that far more people watch NBC programming than the current ratings reflect.
Five years ago, eighty three percent of television programs were watched live. Today, only sixty one percent are. That’s not a surprise, given the proliferation of DVRs. Wurtzel pointed out that lots of viewers watch previously recording programs during primetime. In fact, DVR playbacks average a 1.4 adults 18-49 rating during primetime, meaning that DVR playback is essentially an invisible additional broadcast network.