CBS has added a new wrinkle to its daily ratings releases: An estimate regarding how many more people will watch over the next week thanks to DVR usage.

All the networks have started running disclaimers about DVRs, and how numbers might change, now that DVR penetration has reached roughly 38 percent. Yet this also puts them in an interesting position: Madly spinning their preliminary ratings to suggest that they did just swell, while warning that in final Jeopardy, the scores can really change.

Here’s how CBS laid it out at the bottom of its Monday-night press release. It’s a little confusing (then again, what isn’t these days?), but interesting stuff. To help you follow it, I’ll do the first one: CBS projects “How I Met Your Mother” will see its total audience rise by almost 1.7 million viewers (or about 19%) when a week’s worth of DVR viewing is included, with the adults 18-49 rating climbing by a full rating point, or 28%.

Editor’s Note:  With DVR penetration now at 38%, up from 33% last fall, playback continues to have an impact on ratings beyond same day viewing.  CBS Research has provided live plus 7-day lift estimates at the bottom of this release to more accurately reflect total audience for each program.


Estimated Increases in Viewers and Adults 18-49 Versus Live Plus

Same Day Results

Program   Total Viewer Lift (Live +7)        A18-49 Lift (Live +7) 

How I Met Your Mother   +1.68m      10.46m   +1.0       4.6

Rules of Engagement + 962,000      9.29m         +0.4   3.5

Two and a Half Men +2.19m 16.69m        +0.8   5.6

Mike & Molly     +1.42m 13.66m        +0.5   4.5

Hawaii Five-0    +2.13m 15.96m        +0.7   4.5