ESPN: Late Adopters Don't Want DVRs, Return Them
The study, which was conducted between February and August 2004 by Horowitz Associates for ESPN, was designed to reveal what the impact of DVRs would be when given to "non-early adopters." The study was intended to determine how DVRs influence viewing behavior and exposure to advertising among the later adopters who were given DVRs as part of the test. As it turns out, many didn't even want the devices. Of the 157 households that participated in the test, 90 returned their DVRs for a variety or reasons including: complaints about the installation process, the cost of DVRs, or the fact that the digital set-top devices clashed with or didn't fit into their home furnishings.
Among those who opted to keep their DVRs, Gordon said there was an indication that they continued to view TV commercials, even during fast-forward mode.
Gordon said ESPN has gone into the field with a more robust study of 1,000 cable and satellite TV DVR households in an attempt to "quantify motivation" for DVR use and ad avoidance, and to measure the use of so-called "trick" features such as replay, slow-motion, and fast-forward by type of DVR.
ESPN DVR Study Sample
Recruited For Test Returned DVR
Cable DVR 117 67
TiVo 40 23
Total 157 90