TiVo has released data on viewers' recording and rewatching
moments during the first 2012 presidential debates that shows Mitt Romney's
comments-particularly those involving the need to cut government spending-were
particularly interesting to viewers.
TiVo measures "top moments" during the debate based on how
often viewers recorded, rewound and rewatched certain moments.
By that measure, the top moment across all networks was
Romney's comments about pulling funding for PBS and Big Bird. This ranked as
the No. 1 moment on NBC, Fox News and CNN and No. 3 on MSNBC.
Other Romney comments about cutting government spending also
ranked high. According to the TiVo data, the top moment on CBS involved
Romney's Medicare comment that he wanted to "...keep benefits high for those with
low income, but for people with high income, we'll have to lower some of those
CNN's top moment was the funding cut for PBS.
ABC's second highest moment concerned comments on the
deficit, when Romney noted "I'll take programs that are good programs but
can be run more efficiently at the state level and send them to the states..."
Likewise, the fourth-highest top moment on NBC came when he
noted "Spain spends 42% of the total economy on government. I don't want
to go down the path of Spain."
The most TiVoed moments also reflected the demographics of
the various network.
In releasing the data, TiVo noted that "Fox News's primetime
audience skews heavily Republican, indexing 137 among Republican households
overall." That audience might explain why Fox News's fourth highest moment
involved Romney's criticism of the Obama administration energy initiatives,
The company also noted that its top moments are also
generally correlated with the swings in the emotional responses that CNN showed
across the bottom of the screen during the debate. Those emotional reactions
were from a panel of Colorado undecided voters.