Yesterday's news indicated a drop in live viewing, due no doubt to all the other platforms juggling for our time. Today's WSJ report now tells us that DVR usage this year is also down. Of the four big networks, only NBC saw growth and the rationale for this is that they are finally airing more watchable programming than last season. Overall, the downward trend makes network executives ponder these changing viewership trends. "The data are likely to underscore concerns about traditional television viewing, suggesting that people are either watching broadcast television shows through on-demand services, or are turning to alternatives such as online video." Still the additive viewership of both live and 7 day DVR viewing is up.
Of course this study is only talking about the broadcasters and not cable networks. Yet, I would speculate that the same trend holds true. Our attention span has become shorter and our sights keep shifting. We are surrounded by so many alternative platforms, from tablets and laptops to smartphones, that the TV at times becomes secondary. The cost of TV service could also be a contributory factor to this decline. And lastly, this notion to measure networks when, especially on other devices, consumers watch shows.