Magna: DVR Viewers Younger Than 'Live' Viewers

As the industry awaits the impact of C3 ratings, a new (very) early-season report from Magna Global notes that those watching shows via DVRs are considerably younger than their "live"-viewing counterparts. One curious exception, however, is at the CW network, where the median age of the DVR crowd is a tad older.

The median ages of those watching "live" during premiere week (the only category examined thus far) was 10 years higher at NBC and CBS than the viewers who recorded and watched later. That factor is likely to play a role in the ultimate impact of the C3 figures. At ABC, the median age of "live" viewers was 11 years higher.

The median age at NBC and CBS for "live" viewing was 53 and 46, respectively, dropping to 43 and 36 for DVR playback. At ABC, the comparative figures were 50 and 39.

Fox continued the trend with a median age of 43 for "live" and 35 for time-shifting--the lowest difference compared to its Big Four counterparts with its traditionally younger-skewing, though rising, median age of its audience. Somewhat quizzically, the even younger-skewing CW drew a higher median age during premiere week for "live" at 31 than 32.

It would be intuitive to deduce that "live" viewers would be older on average than DVR time-shifters, since the devices would mostly--at least now--have an attraction for a more tech-savvy group.

Magna Global wrote that since the figures are only for premiere week: "We do expect to see some fluctuation, but numbers on the whole will remain fairly consistent."

DVR homes in the current Nielsen sample are about 20%, but could rise as the season progresses--if, as the measurement company believes, national penetration continues to grow.

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