A year ago, TV networks were terrified of the DVR. The devices allowed viewers to skip commercials on playback, and who, given the choice, would watch TV commercials? Lots of people, it turns out. TV watching is such an inherently lazy activity that many viewers can’t summon the energy to fast forward during breaks. In the key 18-49 age demographic, 46% watch all the ads during playback.
Add to that the fact that shows enjoy 7%-20% more viewings over three days of playback—the four big networks see an average 10% increase overall—and DVRs are a serious boost to the TV industry. One show not enjoying the fruits of the DVR revolution is NBC's beleaguered Jay Leno Show, which, due to its topical subject matter, gets relatively few playbacks, the New York Times reports.