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TiVo: NBC Has Most Live-Viewed Prime Among Big 5

A full 74% of NBC viewers watch primetime in real time, according to a new survey from TiVo, just ahead of the 72% who do so at CBS. ABC weighed in at 71% and Fox at 68%, while The CW, with its young-skewing audience, had just 57% of prime programming watched live.

In terms of all-day viewing, NBC and CBS tied at 82%.

Among the top 10 cable networks, ESPN was, not surprisingly, the most live viewed in prime at 93%, ahead of TBS at 90%, CNN at 89%, History at 88% and Food Network, Fox News, HGTV and USA at 87%.

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CW had the top three time-shifted shows on broadcast: The Flash at 63.1% time-shifted, Arrow at 58.8% and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow at 57%. Then it was NBC’s The Blacklist and ABC’s Modern Family both at 54.3%.

On cable, Top Chef was the most time-shifted series, with 71.3% recording to watch later, then AMC’s Better Call Saul at 70.7%, Syfy’s The Expanse at 68.9%, USA’s Suits at 64.3% and Syfy’s The Magicians at 60.8% time shifted.

The findings came in TiVo’s quarterly State of TV Report. TiVo's MediaTRAnalytics platform aggregates second-by-second set-top box data from more than 2.3 million active set-top box households--both within the TiVo universe and beyond.

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The least time-shifted series on broadcast are part of NBC, with The Carmichael Show viewed live by 89.9%, then Caught on Camera With Nick Cannon at 88.5% and Little Big Shots at 87.1%. After that, it was ABC’s America’s Funniest Home Videos viewed live by 86.4% and Quantico at 83%.

The least time-shifted cable shows were Discovery’s Alaska: The Last Frontier Exposed at 94.1% watching live, HGTV’s House Hunters International Renovation at 92%, CNN’s Tonight With Don Lemon at 91.8% and HGTV’s Island Life and USA’s WWE Monday Night Raw, both at 91.4%.

Broadcast shows are much more commonly time-shifted, with 72% of prime viewing done live, compared to cable’s 88%.

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The top 10 shows garnering the highest OnePass subscription orders, which TiVo says measures loyalty to a series, were notably all on broadcast. The Big Bang Theory was tops with 22.3% of the panel regularly recording the series, ahead of Modern Family (18.6%), The Blacklist (17.8%) and NCIS (15.3%.)

That part of the study came from TiVo analyzing viewing data from approximately 30,000 households out of a 350,000 subscriber daily sample in the first quarter of 2016.

Back in the cable world, TiVo analyzed Showtime’s “pre-premiere marketing tactic” for Billions, with the pilot shared on demand and on various digital platforms 17 days before its official debut in January. OnePass subscriptions for the show grew from nothing to 1.8% for polled subscribers.

Showtime is trying a similar tactic again this week, in advance of the new season of Ray Donovan June 26.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.