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TiVo Takes Dive Into Ad Debate

Nov 13, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Digital video recorder pioneer TiVo is trying to get involved in the debate over measuring audiences for commercials and how DVRs affect the count.

Tom Rogers, CEO of TiVo, sent a letter Friday to the research heads of the television networks and top media agency executives saying that his company has “unique data we can bring to the table for TiVo households and by proxy all DVR households.”

That information might prove to be a useful adjunct to Nielsen Media Research’s data on how many people on average watch commercials during a show.

The commercial ratings debate is “so critical to the future of TV that we owe it to ourselves to make sure the discussions are as informed with as many pieces of the puzzle as possible,” Mr. Rogers said in his letter. “We simply believe in a fair and accurate measurement of what viewers are watching.”

TiVo’s data is captured on a second-by-second basis, which may eliminate disputes over what material is counted as a “commercial minute” in the ratings. The company also can measure how long its users wait to view programming, sort ratings by both when a commercial break runs and where in a pod a particular spot runs, and sort commercial ratings by length of spot.