CBS's chief ratings tracker David Poltrack has dismissed concerns by some pay-TV analysts that TV viewers are likely to drop cable-TV and satellite service and opt for downloading or streaming shows via the Internet. In fact, Poltrack told the 38th annual UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York, rather than cutting the cords of cable or satellite, consumers are instead adding Internet and DVR services to them. His research, he said, indicates that 76 percent of connected homes now use DVRs to watch programs on a delayed basis while only "a small minority" -- around 6 percent -- stream content from video sites, up just 1 percent from 2008. DVR viewing, however, has become such a significant factor among viewers, he said, that "you can no longer pay much attention to the overnight [ratings]." He pointed out that "approximately one fifth of the CBS primetime audience comes from playback."

07/12/2010