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Rentrak: Two-Thirds of Primetime TV Viewing Happens On Demand

8 Apr, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Most TV viewers watching shows three days after initial broadcast

In another blow to television advertising, a new Rentrak study finds that nearly 67% of primetime network viewing occurs three days after a show’s initial broadcast.

Portland, Ore.-based Rentrak said the total time spent viewing of free-on-demand primetime broadcast TV content increased 24% compared with the same period in 2013. The data was based on 111 million TV set-top boxes.

Among free on-demand, subscription streaming and transactional VOD, an average of 43.3 million televisions accessed VOD content at almost nine hours of viewing per month. The total time spent viewing all VOD content was 4.4 billion hours — a 3% increase from the previous year. The TV entertainment category, which includes programming from many of the top broadcast and cable networks, saw a 17% increase in time spent viewing.

“The consumer is utilizing the VOD button on their remote in a bigger way than ever, and TV networks have responded with their best programming,” CEO Bill Livek said in a statement.

While Rentrak said the study provides broadcasters the opportunity to generate “untold millions” in additional advertising dollars from VOD, it also underscores the continuing erosion of the primetime viewing audience for scripted and reality content — which advertisers pay a premium for.

As a result, broadcasters are seeking to extend the window to seven days (C7) after initial broadcast in which they can track viewership for advertising.


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