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TCA: CBS’ Poltrack Wants to ‘Get People Off the DVR’

Related: Complete Coverage of TCA Summer Press Tour

Beverly Hills, Calif. — CBS chief research officer David Poltrack said he is on a "crusade" to get people off of DVR.

“We’d love to transfer as much of the current non-monetized DVR post-seven day viewing to monetized viewing,” he said Monday during the network's day at TCA summer press tour.

Poltrack, who is also president of CBS Vision, was joined on stage by Marc DeBevoise, executive VP/general manager of CBS Digital Media for CBS Interactive, to talk about all things data.

The duo presented nearly 30 minutes worth of research that in essence showed three things: 1) TV content viewing is growing; 2) younger people — think millennials — are watching TV content; and 3) TV content remains the primary reach and return on investment for advertisers.

To address these findings, the network chiefs said they have invested in content distribution with programs such as CBS All Access and highly targeted vertical sites like CBSN.

For advertisers, Poltrack said that CBS can now tell how effective digital campaigns are.

Other topics discussed during the presentation included:

—All That Content: “There is a big, big gap between the best and all the rest,” said Poltrack, citing a Harris Poll survey of what shows viewers think are best — CBS’ NCIS had 188 votes, The Big Bang Theory 115, AMC’s The Walking Dead 109 followed next by ABC’s Scandal with 48.

—Nielsen and Digital Ratings: “I have great sympathy for Nielsen, said Poltrack, adding that they are doing the best job they can. Though, he cautioned that the consumer is still going to be one step ahead of the measurement company.

—Binging and Streaming: When asked about the possibility of releasing all episodes of a season at once, Poltrack said “we don’t believe it works for broadcast television,” explaining that product is burned through too quickly.

—Advertising: “People are not craving for a world without advertising,” said Poltrack. The research guru cited that DVR ads are sped through less now because people are “too busy” on their phones to fast forward.  He added that those phones allow viewers to act immediately on what they see in the ads.