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Leno is giving TiVo a rest

The good news: More people are watching NBC live at 10 p.m. -- now that Jay Leno is in the time slot -- as opposed to recording the hour and watching it later, according to TiVo, which tracks how its 3 million customers are using their digital video recorders.


The bad news: About 20% of the people who do record Leno with their TiVo watch it within an hour of its original airing, which means in theory it is slicing into the audience for local news at 11 p.m. and Conan O'Brien at 11:30 p.m.

"While Leno is succeeding in reducing the amount of time-shifted viewing for NBC's 10 p.m. time slot, he certainly isn't 'Tivo-proof' as nearly 50% of viewing is still time-shifted," said Todd Juenger, vice president of TiVo Audience Research & Measurement. "Moreover, those time-shifted viewers are nearly twice as likely to watch within one hour, displacing NBC's 11 p.m. time slot."

Of course, anytime someone records a show and watches it later it means that they are not watching live TV at that moment (duh). Who's to say whether that 20% who are recording Leno and watching it later were Conan fans anyway or didn't get their local news from a different station? Who's to say they even usually watch television at that hour?

This is the problem with statistics. You can try to make them say anything. It's interesting to note how many TiVo users are opting to record Leno versus how many were recording NBC's dramas last season. To go beyond that and try to mind-read what those users are missing while they are catching up with Leno is a reach.

Just remember what Talking Heads once sang: "Facts all come with points of view, facts don't do what I want them to."

-- Joe Flint

Photo: Jay Leno. Credit: Matt Sayles

Comments () | Archives (18)

Our fragment TV viwership will always baffle the suits. I like the Tivo and I can't stand Leno, I am a letterman type guy. Tivo & DVR's will teach the networks if you want to be cheap and run cheaper programs we are gone to cable.

It is possible to watch live tv at the moment you are recording something. Perhaps people can watch Leno live and record the dramas on other networks.

I watch late night talk shows because there's nothing better on. At 10 PM - fogeddabowtitt! JayLeno=Lame-o

Stupid... everyone is hating on Jay. I love the new show -- better than the old one. If this is the future of T.V. -- bring it on. Scripted shows generally suck & reality shows are tired. Bring on the comedy & please tell me "The Cleveland Show" has been canceled already.

I bet he's having a better week than Lettermen, eh?

How do you know who anyone is in that industry these days. I think the industry just gets stranger ever year... and so it continues.

I watch Leno on Hulu, which suits me fine. Usually this ends up being around 3 in the morning.

I stopped watching when all he had as guests were far left lunatics.

I'm thinking that Letterman could change to an all-porn format and really boost the ratings now that the cat's out of the bag.

CBS could save some money by using internal staffers.

Leno's new show is horrible... Not funny at all. The set, show, opening music... everything has a real drab and dreary feel to it. Lacks explosion.

re: "It is possible to watch live tv at the moment you are recording something"

What?!?!?! I thought those things labeled "TiVo" & "DVR" were pizza warmers! Isn't that what the hot vents on top are for?

My "DVR" pizza warmer goes GREAT with my automatic cup holder labeled "DVD" and my ashtray holder "CD player".

This is silly, so what if people watch it live or record it and watch it later? If TiVo records that info, then the ratings shouldn't go down if they consider all those who recorded it. Honestly, those people should matter more to networks than the people who watch live. Lots of people who watch live are just watching because there is nothing better on, they're bored, can't sleep, want something on in the background, whatever. But the people who genuinely wanted to see the show are the ones who record it. And as for the time displacement, they're probably jsut skipping commercials. I do it all the time. When my show starts, I pause it and come back 10-15 minutes later so I can watch the show and fast-forward through commercials. Then when I want to watch what's next I can literally watch TV for hours just skipping commercials. If I catch up to myself, I pause again and go do something else for a bit. If anything, this system encourages more people to watch TV because they won't have commercials cutting into their show. Makes perfect sense to me.

Have they even bothered to look at whether the shows impacted by Leno time shifting have, themselves, been time shifted? I use a DirecTV DVR and we mostly watch time-shifted shows to speed through commercials. Start a show 15-20 min after scheduled start time and we can skip all the crap. So, it is no surprise to me that most watch recorded shows within an hour of live start. Broadcasters will need to come up with an ad strategy (such as a consistent stable logo on TV ads) so the message still gets through while the TIVO/DVR folk hold down the FFW button. Some of my most intense TV watch is while FFW through commercials while trying not to skip over show content.

"Crosseyed & Painless", Remain in Light. Great song, great album! Er, uhmm...CD. Jay Leno? Thought he retired. I can't afford TiVo. The opinions of the poor don't matter anyway, Right?! Go watch Live Music. Kill your T.V.

Have a nice day.

We have used the DVR to record Leno for several years, but deleted his show from the system yesterday. Reasons:

1) His opening monologue is no longer funny. I can't believe he has 22 comedy writers.
2) The monologue is continually interrupted by inane video clips that distract from his standup.
3) The band is placed too far from Leno--affording little communication.
4) Leno does not appear comfortable in the chairs--regardless what he says.
5) What is this business of entering through glass doors?
6) Only one guest (Robin Williams) has been funny.
7) The show has no tempo and its 60 minutes really drags by.

>> I stopped watching when all he had as guests were far left lunatics.

Ahhh... so I'm not the only one who has noticed that. His jokes also almost always seem to be at the expense of those on the right, so I don't watch him anymore -- or Letterman either... but Letterman always seemed to have a better delivery than Leno.

It's a mystery to me why so many people here bothered to comment since they DON'T even watch Leno! How can you comment on something you don't even watch?

For those of us who LOVE Jay, I have to say the move to the 10 p.m. slot has changed our viewing habits considerably.

We have TiVo and use it mostly to record 9 p.m. shows, so no change there. The only 10 p.m. show that is recorded for later is Private Practice.

However, since I no longer have to endure the entire 11 p.m. newscast to wait for Leno, I am turning the TV off MUCH earlier than I have for the past 20 years. Now, we will watch the 11 p.m. headlines, but the moment they start on some stupid feature the TV goes off. If the news is interesting enough, we will keep it on through the weather (11:15 p.m.). But when the sports comes on -- that's it. OFF!

So not surprisingly, I'll bet the ratings show that the biggest losers to Leno's move to 10 p.m. are the local news networks. No reason to stay up late unless you are a Letterman or Conan fan. I'm NOT.

I watched the first episode to see what it was all about, and since have only watched the episode with Bill Maher, soley because I'm a fan of Bill Maher. The new show is terrible. And what's with the opening sequence? It's like they're trying to go for a nostalgic feel with it, but nothing about Leno is nostalgic (does he think he's the new Johnny Carson or something?!?!?!). I'll tune in if there's a guest I'm interested in, but otherwise this show is a huge waste of time.

I stopped watching Leno several years ago on the Tonight Show when he was constantly bashing Bush. I am not a great admirer of Bush but Leno always went for the easy joke with no great wit. All his writers should have been fired a long time ago.


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