Attention, television advertisers: The digital video recorder may be a friend, not an enemy. Instead of skipping the ads, almost half of U.S. DVR viewers in the most advertising-targeted age group -- 18- to 49-year-olds -- watch television commercials on their recorded shows, according to a Nielsen poll released Tuesday.

Some 44% of 18- to 49-year-old viewers with DVRs played the commercials within three days after they first aired, boosting commercial ratings 16% among that age group overall, according to the survey. About two in five U.S. homes have a DVR.

Many in the TV advertising industry have lamented DVRs, whose numbers have doubled in the past three years as many cable and satellite-television providers began offering DVRs as part of their services.

"Contrary to fears that DVRs would wipe out the value of commercials because of viewers fast-forwarding through ads, DVRs actually contribute significantly to commercial viewing," Nielsen said in the report.

The numbers indicate that advertisers running spots during science-fiction and sitcom programming may be getting more viewers than they think. TV ratings for sci-fi shows get a 60% boost in ratings, on average, via DVR playbacks within one week of airing, while sit-coms get a 46% boost, Nielsen said.

On the other end of the spectrum, documentary ratings only received approximately a 10% increase from DVR playbacks within a week, while news programming, unsurprisingly, got a measly 8% bump, according to the report.

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Yeah, right, I fast forward so much my thumb hurts nice
try Nielsen.

December 22 2010 at 1:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hey advertisers, I almost always skip your lame worn out stupid commercials. If you want to get our attention, then start making them funny and interesting, and take them out of circulation after the public has seen them thousands of times.

December 22 2010 at 12:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Mr King: Very interesting article. My (public, not my personal) criticism has been about the excessive number of commercials (too much time devoted to content), not that in the past I did not find some commercials informative and even entertaining. Your article may explain to me a lot about myself. As you point out, it may be because I could be a grandfather to a member of one of the cohorts you mention. I will ask myself why I just finished watching "Blade Runner", Harrison Ford, again, streamed from NETFLIX without commercial interuption(?).

December 21 2010 at 10:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to bfpowersjr's comment

Some people may need to download the MOZILLA FIREFOX browser to stream NETFLIX movies.

December 21 2010 at 11:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As everyone knows, movies contain a great deal of advertising, and always have. When I watch a movie I believe I learn who some of the movie's financial backers were. Perhaps TV advertisers need to subtly exploit this strategem more than they already do(?).

December 22 2010 at 8:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply