Contact: Consumers Avoid the Remote

Good news. The main impetus for digital video recorder (DVR) use is convenience, not commercial avoidance, according to a recent survey by ESPN. In a study of 1,000 homes conducted by the sports channel's research department, more than 70 percent of respondents say they use the DVR to record shows they would miss otherwise, while only 28 percent say the main reason they use the DVR is to avoid commercials.

The study also found that 61 percent of TV viewing is live, while 39 percent is recorded. "The vast majority of Americans are watching [TV] live, like traditional viewing with the 30-second spot," says Artie Bulgrin, senior vice president of research and sales development at ESPN.

Even if viewers are using the DVR, they might still see the ads, because only 30 percent of the respondents say they use the fast-forward, rewind, and pause features all the time. The other 70 percent use those features some, but not, all the time.

The study also found that 30 percent of respondents use their DVR all the time, while 20 percent rarely or never use it. And 61 percent say they pay attention to a commercial if it's interesting.

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