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Tuesday, February 08, 2005

TiVo Releases Super Bowl Viewer Stats

Although it's a bit unsettling that TiVo can collect such statistics about its customers, the resulting knowledge base is nonetheless instructive concerning viewing habits. TiVo has released viewer statistics for this past Super Bowl -- statistics that created a stir last year when it was revealed how many TiVo customers repeatedly viewed the Janet Jackson "wardrobe malfunction."

The most watched and replayed moments were the GoDaddy.com commercial, the instructions for voting for game MVP via text messaging, the fourth-quarter interception, and the game's final minutes. Viewing bottomed out during the pre-game events and immediately before and after Paul McCartney's halftime show. But overall, viewship remained relatively steady throughout the game.

Such statistics may prove more relevant and useful than the traditional Nielsen ratings, and allow TV programming executives to see reaction to TV shows in real time. So far they can glean that sex sells, sports fans like dramatic plays and texting, and the lull between gametime and halftime festivities is the time when everybody hits either the bathroom or the refrigerator.

Speaking of traditional ratings, Fox reported that the ratings for Super Bowl XXXIX were off from last year. Last Sunday, 86 million viewers tuned in, versus 88 million for last year's game, making it the lowest-rated Super Bowl in six years. Nonetheless, the Super Bowl remains the highest-rated TV event of the year.

Source: Engadget