Wurtzel: DVR a “Huge Benefit”


Speaking Thursday at NBC Universal’s annual development meeting, Alan Wurtzel, president of NBC U Television Research and Media Development, presented evidence that digital video recorders (DVRs) have less of an impact on commercial effectiveness than previously thought.

Citing recent Nielsen Media Research data, Wurtzel said that the impact of commercial skipping in non-DVR households is actually greater than that in homes that have a DVR.

Looking at an average of prime time viewing for the six broadcast networks, Wurtzel said that he found a drop in commercial effectiveness that averages less than 3% in homes with a DVR. On the other hand, Wurtzel said, there was a nearly 7% drop in commercial effectiveness in homes that did not have a DVR. Further, Wurtzel said, for a drop in commercial effectiveness to reach even 10%, DVR penetration in households would have to hit 35%. That is a number that is not expected until around 2009-2010; currently, DVR penetration is 10%.

Wurtzel’s findings are a follow-up to a 2005 study conducted by research execs from the six major networks, which found that DVRs increase television viewing in the home by 12%.

"Television has constantly evolved as new technology appears," Wurtzel said. "The DVR should not be feared by television and advertising executives. By measuring more real, actual viewing, it is frankly a huge benefit to us all."