Advertisers and TV networks live on opposite sides of a mutually beneficial border. For years, the location of that border remained relatively well-defined, as viewership quantity and demographics were the primary factors which determined what advertisers should pay for their spots. As the digital video recorder (DVR) entrenches itself in audience viewing habits, that border has become contested. In a nutshell, advertisers would prefer not to count DVR viewership at all, since DVR users tend to skip commercials with abandon. On the other side, networks have argued that DVR actually leads to more television viewing, which makes up for some—if not all—of the audience “lost” to the fast-forward button.
While the real truth of the matter probably lies somewhere between the advertiser and the network positions, a new study released by an independent media research organization muddies the waters by seeming to contradict similar data released by the networks last year.
UPDATE: FX to test new ad to combat DVR viewers from ZDNet