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Study shows DVRs raise TV viewership

(Posted November 20, 2005 by Leah Yoakum)

NEW YORK - Far from being the TV doomsday machines that some have predicted, digital video recorders that allow viewers to skip advertising and watch shows at their leisure will actually boost television audiences, the major networks said on Wednesday.

That was the principal finding in a report issued by the six major networks — CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox, the WB and UPN — that sought to allay concerns in the media industry that DVRs will undermine the commercial value of broadcast television.

Advertisers and investors have watched the entry of DVRs into the mass market with a keen eye for several years. Some predicted the features that let viewers skip ads and watch programs at their leisure would spell the death of ad-supported broadcast TV and its prime-time programming schedule.

But in their research on the use of DVRs, the television networks said the technology offered an opportunity to attract viewers who might otherwise miss shows when they first air.

“For most of the top television programs, the audience will be greater for these programs as DVR penetration increases,” David Poltrack, head of ratings research for CBS, told reporters. “The DVR is going to increase viewership to major network television programs.”

Source: MSNBC

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