DVR owners watch less live TV

New research contradicts the contention of the major television networks that DVR users watch more television.

Data from Mediamark Research (MRI) finds that adults in DVR homes watch less television than those without the devices. DVR users are 23 percent less likely to be heavy television viewers than the general population, Media Daily News reported.

Although they believe DVR users to be rabid commercial skippers, the broadcast networks have maintained that people in DVR homes watch more television-broadcast shows in particular, the report said. That's intended to convince advertisers that they may get more exposure for their money. Last fall, network executives disseminated research showing that DVR homes watch 12 percent more television.

MRI's DVR findings came from its annual spring study of the media consumption habits of 26,000 adults — 2,912 with DVRs. The new research was conducted from March 2005 through May 2006.

According to the study, one reason that those in DVR homes may be watching less television is that they spend more down time reading and surfing the Internet. MRI found that adults in DVR homes are 43 percent more likely to be heavy magazine readers, 40 percent more likely to be heavy newspaper readers, and 81 percent more likely to be heavy Internet users.