TiVo unveiled the Top Commercial Rankings for May 2008, as viewed by TiVo service subscribers. ABC and FOX trounced all other broadcast networks in May in Total and Timeshifted viewership for both commercial and program ratings. Seven of the Top 10 commercials in Total viewership for the month ran during the May 21st finale of FOX’s American Idol.
"The May data demonstrates that running a commercial during a successful program does not guarantee that people will see it, especially if they are Timeshifting and watching the show later," said Todd Juenger, Vice President & General Manager, TiVo Audience Research & Measurement. "Grey’s Anatomy had the top four Timeshifted episodes, but only managed to sneak one spot into the Top 10. On the other hand, House didn’t have any episodes in Top 10 Timeshifted viewing, but placed four of the top Timeshifted commercials."
As always, there was great disparity between highest versus lowest Timeshifted spots, even within the same episode, proving again that viewers are consciously choosing which ads to watch and which to fast-forward. While the average timeshifted commercial rating was 4.8, the highest rated spot garnered an 11.1 rating, nearly three times the audience of the lowest rated spot.
Juenger continued, "The contrast between Grey’s Anatomy dominating the Top Program list for both Total and Timeshifted viewing, while American Idol dominates the Top Commercial list for Total viewing, is instructive. Clearly a higher percentage of American Idol viewers watched the show live. In fact, 43% of viewers watched the American Idol finale live versus only 29% for the four first-run Grey’s Anatomy episodes. Even with this handicap for Timeshifted viewers, the Coca-Cola spot right before the announcement of the winner on American Idol’s May 21st finale won the top Timeshifted commercial spot — and top overall commercial as well — showing the power of what is probably the most coveted ad positioning in American TV."