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September 3, 2015

Do You Skip Commercials on Your DVR?

by Jean Bentley, posted Dec 22nd 2010 11:30AM
TivoTo fast forward or not to fast forward? That's the question faced by DVR users about eight times an hour -- every time yet another commercial break rolls around. Do you watch as if you didn't have the power to move time forward (woah, it sounds really serious when you put it like that), or do you zoom through those suckers on 3x speed?

Back in the Tivo heyday, one of the main selling points of the service was the power to pause live TV. The lesser-advertised benefit was the fact that an hourlong show took just 42 minutes to watch when you skipped through the commercials -- though it's understandable why they wouldn't be too vocal about that fact, since the networks (and their advertisers) would likely get cranky.

According to a report in The New York Times, Nielsen ratings for commercials in primetime shows actually go up by 44 percent when DVR playback within three days is taken into account. "Some people still say, 'Nobody watches commercials.' That's not true," said Patricia McDonough, senior vice president of planning, policy and analysis at Nielsen.

But it's not all good news. In the 40 percent of American homes with DVRs, the DVR users are usually doing other things during their TV-watching time. "They're also the ones most likely to be media multitasking -- texting, Facebooking, etc., during the commercials, using that as 'down time' to do other things until the commercial is over," said Don Seaman, director of communications analysis for the media agency MPG.

"Are we saying that they're too lazy to pick up the remote to fast-forward? Far from it," he continued. "They're probably likely using commercials as a timing device to know when to pay attention to the TV again."

I'm a huge fan of fast-forwarding myself -- subtract the inane contestant interviews and I can speed through an episode of 'Jeopardy!' in 15 minutes -- but even I occasionally put the remote down and use commercial breaks to do other things. I'll get up and wash some dishes, straighten something out, get a glass of water. And, to be honest, I'm usually on my laptop while watching TV and sometimes just not paying enough attention to notice that a commercial is on.

Do you fast-forward through commercials on your DVR?
Always, I hate the ads355 (61.3%)
Usually, unless I'm multi-tasking215 (37.1%)
Never, I watch shows straight through9 (1.6%)

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I dvr purposely so I can cut through the bs.
I prefer my commercials via 30 min (17 min in actuality?) television spots that only include funny or out of the ordinary commercials. Though I have to admit to watching every one of the barbarian commercials, it's like watching a sitcom in miniature.

I do have to also admit that I hate jumping past commercials then having to track back and forward till I get back to the spot where the show comes back on. sometimes no matter how hard I try I still end up having to listen to the woman talk about bladder control or the old guy who is contemplating the merits of viarga.

December 23 2010 at 9:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John F.C. Taylor

Don't have Tivo and don't record anything off tv. As for fast forwarding through commercials, I suppose I would if I ever started recording TV programs. I am in the habit now of flipping channels when commercials come on now. If it's a program that I really don't want to miss any of, I hit mute and pick up a book for the minutes commercials are on.

December 23 2010 at 8:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I've actually worn out the 30 second skip button on my remote, now I'm stuck just fast forwarding. It's now the second item on my christmas list.

December 22 2010 at 7:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Patrick C

Depends on the commercial. I want a bumper sticker that says, "I break for M&M commercials".

Don't remember the first(?) commercial for TiVo with Joe Montana and Ronnie Lott, Itch stopper plus!

December 22 2010 at 7:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Some people still say, 'Nobody watches commercials.' That's not true," said Patricia McDonough, senior vice president of planning, policy and analysis at Nielsen.

Well Patricia, just because a commercial isn't being fast fowarded, doesn't mean someone is actively watching it.

December 22 2010 at 6:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I absolutely skip through commercials. In fact, I almost never watch ANYTHING live.

Often, I will start watching a show 10-15 minutes in, that way I can keep ahead of the ~18 minutes of commercials.

December 22 2010 at 4:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I also FF during the commercials and am guilty of pausing the program and letting it record so I can skip them. I remember reading an article once about the effect of DVRs on advertisers. Due to the "skipping" of commercials, there have been more product placements that have been added to the TV shows we watch (Hello iPhone, Windows Phone and the newest Ford Mustangs). I am wondering when the actors will stop in the middle of the action to drink a Dew or model the latest in outer wear from the Gap.

December 22 2010 at 4:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The DVR is the greatest invention since immodium. A NASCAR fan can tape the race, and start an hour earlier, and still catch up.

December 22 2010 at 3:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I 3X fast-forward through commercial breaks. Who ARE these people who watch the commercials on their DVR???
I used to use the TiVo 30-second skip, but breaks aren't usually in 30-second multiples, so I'd always overshoot and have to back up. With the fast-forward, I can usually stop right on target.

December 22 2010 at 3:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
The Deej

There are times when I will purposely pause a show at the start, make dinner and then start watching so there's enough show in the buffer that I can skip the commercials.

Most stuff I pre-record on the time shifted feed which is particularly helpful for results shows.

December 22 2010 at 2:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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