Chart: How Viewers Catch Up With a Missed Episode of a Favorite Broadcast Series

Dec 12, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Young viewers are using technology to catch up on episodes of programs
they’ve missed.

In a survey conducted by the Nielsen Co. at CBS’ research facility in
Las Vegas, 37% of viewers 18 to 34 said they use a digital video recorder
to watch a show they weren’t at home for. Another 16% said they go to
the Internet to find a show they want to see. Not surprisingly, those
numbers are much higher than for older viewers, who are more prone to
wait for the episode to show up in reruns.

"Since technology adoption is increasing within all age groups, this
study gives us a glimpse into a future when all viewers will take more
initiative to catch up on shows they have missed," said Steve McGowan,
Nielsen’s senior VP for client research initiatives. "This will have
tremendous implications on how networks schedule and distribute their

The study also found that when viewers go to the Web to watch episodes
of TV series, more of them said they went to ABC.com than any other site.
The next most popular sites were NBC.com and CBS.com, at 41% and 37%,

How Viewers Catch Up With a Missed Episode of a Favorite Broadcast

  Total Male Female Age 18-34 Age 35-54 Age 55+
Sample Size: 1,599 659 940 410 764 395
Watch it using your DVR 29% 32% 27% 37% 30%


Watch a rerun 26% 26% 26% 19% 26% 35%
I don’t do anything. I wait for the next episode 13% 13% 12% 5% 13% 20%
Watch it on the Internet 7% 7% 7% 16% 5% 2%
Watch it using your VCR 7% 5% 9% 4% 9% 8%
Ask a friend what you missed 6% 4% 7% 6% 6% 7%
Wait for it to come out on DVD
5% 5% 4% 7% 5% 3%
Read a summary 2% 0% 2% 0% 2% 2%
Watch it using VOD service 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1%
Download and watch on MP3 1% 2% 1% 2% 1% 0%


4% 5% 4% 3% 4% 6%

* Results of in-person study conducted by Nielsen in October 2007 with more
than 1,500 adults at the CBS Television City research facility in Las Vegas

Source: The Nielsen Co.


  1. Older viewers wait for reruns? I find that statement hilarious. With shows like LOST and 24 they don’t reruns and haven’t done so for the last year or two now.
    Even shows like Las Vegas which do not feature an ongoing storyline rarely features any kind of reruns anymore. Perhaps the survey meant that they wait for episodes to show up in syndication. Networks seem more interested in making more reality shows to fill a schedule then re-running episodes of their popular TV shows.

  2. They survey gurus at Nielsen blew it again. What the hell does “Download and watch on MP3” mean? MP3 is an AUDIO format people. Maybe they meant Bittorrent, but who knows.
    Wake up and smell the 00’s Nielsen.

  3. Love the blog here. Nice colors. I am definitely staying tuned to this one. Hope to see more.

  4. Hey how are you doing? I just wanted to stop by and say that it’s been a pleasure reading your blog. I have bookmarked your website so that I can come back & read more in the future as well. plz do keep up the quality writing

  5. Way to focus and straight to your point, i love it. Keep up the work people. Dont let anyone stop us bloggers.

  6. Interesting thoughts here. I appreciate you taking the time to share them with us all. It’s people like you that make my day 🙂

  7. I am extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one these days.. 🙂

  8. You completed several good points there. I did a search on the subject and found nearly all people will agree with your blog.

Leave a Reply to Link Building Cancel Reply

Email (will not be published)