Altice USA: Live TV Viewing Holds Steady

DVR usage climbed in 2016, but live viewing continues to dominate the way consumers watch TV, Altice USA concluded in new report that analyzes data from millions of set-top boxes across the operator’s Optimum (former Cablevision Systems) footprint.

Per the operator’s Data Flash Review, live TV in the Optimum footprint “held steady”  in 2016 versus 2015, representing 91.9% of overall viewing, compared with DVR “engagement” (4.9%) and VOD (2.7%). Of those categories, DVR viewing rose 9% year-on-year, with an average of 1 hour and 47 minutes per day, and representing the most popular time-shifted or on-demand viewing method.

Among other findings of the report, Optimum homes averaged eight hours of tuning per day in 2015 and 2016. News programming tune-in rose 4%, with a surge of 99% for political-focused programs thanks to the election season, and sports programming tune-in dipped 4%. The full infographic illustrating the study findings can be found here.

The report’s Optimum TV household viewing trends are based on an analysis of anonymous, census-level viewing data of 2.6 million active tuning households in the New York tri-state area. This report did not factor in tune-in analysis of Suddenlink homes. Altice acquired Suddenlink in December 2015, and closed its deal for Cablevision last June. 

“Optimum customers love watching television and live tune-in continues to be the most popular way they choose to access their favorite content,” Paul Haddad, Altice’s global chief data officer, said in a statement. “We have also seen customers take advantage of options to watch programming on their own terms, with viewing up substantially on our DVR platform. With deep insights into the viewing trends of our Optimum customers, Altice USA is able to constantly innovate and prioritize new features and services that align with consumers’ preferences and demands.”