TV viewing drops slightly in ’06-’07

DVR homes up, now at 20.5%

The penetration of DVRs rose to 20.5%, but actual TV viewing dropped by a minute during the 2006-2007 season, compared with the record viewing set last year, according to Nielsen.

DVR homes now account for 20.5% of Nielsen’s sample of 12,000 television homes, up from 17.2% in May. When Nielsen began including DVR households in the sample in January 2006, penetration was estimated at 8%.

Total average daily time spent in front of the tube actually dropped by one minute to 4 hours 34 minutes from 4 hours 35 minutes in the 2005-2006 season, which was a record. It’s the first time individual TV viewing has dropped in at least a decade, and also the year Nielsen included digital video recording in its viewer estimates.

“There are numerous screens competing for time and attention, as well as consumer devices providing new ways for viewers to watch their favorite television shows,” said Nielsen senior veep Patricia McDonough.

Household time spent in front of the tube remained constant with last year at 8 hours 14 minutes.

During primetime, household viewing dropped by two minutes, to 1:52, and individual viewing dropped one minute, to 1:10. Household primetime viewing has dropped in the past, but last year’s 1:54 repped a decade high.