TiVo tees up TV talkers


It is no surprise that Republican and Democratic citizens see many things quite differently, and television is certainly no exception. TiVo says it is able to measure exactly how differently, and takes a head-to-head look at the audiences drawn by arch-rivals Bill O’Reilly on FNC and Keith Olbermann on MSNBC.

The numbers all come from TiVo’s Power//Watch™ service, which gets its results from TiVo owners who agree to allow their boxes to be monitored for viewing data-gathering purposes, cross-referenced with a wealth of household demographic information.

For example, P//W reports that back in July 2009, O’Reilly pulled a 1.2 rating among Republicans, but only got 0.1 out of Democrats. That’s a pretty stark difference, but it’s even starker the other way around – Olbermann picked up a 1.3 rating among Democratic viewers, but received no measurable support whatsoever from Republicans.

The Olbermann numbers were repeated verbatim among households planning to buy an alternative-powered vehicle within the next two years. He also led among households planning a vehicle purchase of any kind during the next year by an 0.8-0.4 margin. That’s information the automobile manufacturers can put to good use.

O’Reilly had a slight lead among households with children, 0.5-0.3, while Olbermann earned an 0.9-0.6 advantage in households including at least one person aged 50 or greater.

When it comes to news programming, Republicans overwhelmingly congregate at Fox News Channel; Democrats split time between MSNBC, CBS and CNN.

TiVo also looked at entertainment programming. In July, Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch” earned an overall rating of 3.8, but pulled a 4.9 among Republican viewers, giving it a Republican concentration index score of 130.2. On the other side, an episode of Saving Grace on TNT picked up a 3.4 overall rating, but pull in a 5.3 among Democratic viewers, for a Democratic concentration index score of 153.6.

RBR-TVBR observation: This is exactly the kind of information advertisers crave. The better job broadcasters do providing it, the healthier their revenues will be going forward. Balk at it, and the results will be ugly.