DVR Usage Tops 30% In Major Markets

DVRAt nearly 40%, the San Diego market has the country's highest percentage of DVR homes--27% of all U.S. households now have the ad-skipping devices. The data from Nielsen also shows that 29 markets have DVR penetration rates topping 30%.

Among San Diego's 1.1 million homes, 38% have the ad-skipping devices. That's just above the 37% in Austin, Dallas and Orlando. Nationally, as of this month, there are 31 million DVR homes--up 12% since July.

San Diego is the 28th-largest market in overall TV households, but moves into the top 20 in total DVR homes with 402,000. Cox Communications is the dominant cable provider in the market.

The data from Nielsen's quarterly update offers more evidence that Southern Californians warm to DVRs. Los Angeles has a high 36% penetration rate among its overall 5.7 million homes. Time Warner Cable is the largest cable provider in the DMA.



Los Angeles's number of DVR homes (2 million) places it second in the country, behind the 2.2 million in New York. That's in line with overall market sizes, where New York is No. 1, followed by L.A.

But New York's DVR penetration rate of 30% places it much farther down the list in that metric. Dallas has the highest rate among the top 10 markets, at 37% (927,000 DVR homes)--35% more than the larger Philadelphia market. Dallas is primarily served by Time Warner Cable; Philadelphia is the home base of Comcast.

At 23% and well below the national average, Philadelphia has a lower percentage of DVR homes (688,000 in total) than any other top-20 market, except for the much-smaller Minneapolis and Miami--although 56% of homes in Philadelphia subscribe to digital cable.

On the flip side, Orlando--a market served by BrightHouse Networks-- has a 37% penetration rate, which along with Dallas, leads among the top 20 markets.

Outside that group, Austin--the 49th-largest DMA--has a 37% penetration rate (250,000 DVR homes). Time Warner Cable serves the market.

Seven smaller Texas DMAs have DVR penetration rates at 28% or higher, all above the national average. All are served by Suddenlink Communications, although some have a large number of satellite homes. The group includes Waco, the 94th-largest market--as well as Tyler at 110; Lubbock at 143; Wichita Falls at 145; Odessa at 156; Sherman at 161 and Abilene at 165. Waco has 102,000 DVR homes, Abilene has 33,000.

Fort Smith, Ark.--a DMA that includes Wal-Mart's hometown of Bentonville--has a strong 31% DVR penetration rate. It's the 100th-largest DMA and is served by cable operator Cox, but 40% of homes here subscribe to satellite services.

The 29 markets with DVR penetration rates over 30% range from Los Angeles down to Cheyenne, Wyoming, market No. 198.

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