Is on-demand viewing on the rise in your household?

Christopher-GorhamImage Credit: Robert Ascroft/USA NetworkComcast Corp., the nation’s largest cable company, has released the results of its annual “TV Pulse Survey” on TV time-shifting. Not surprisingly, the practice is increasing. Among the 1,000 randomly-selected participants, 62 percent now reported having watched primetime shows through technologies that include the DVR, VOD (video-on-demand) and Internet, and 61 percent of viewers said they were time-shifting programs more than they did a year ago. More interestingly, Comcast said on-demand orders of TV shows now surpass movies.

We’ve covered DVR usage a lot on PopWatch (so we’ll just let the poll below do the talking), but let’s discuss how we, the ones so devoted to TV that we’ve named our DVRs and our Slankets, use on demand…. Personally, I usually forget TV shows are there until I’m bored on a Saturday afternoon and Peter (my DVR) is empty. Then, I’ll click Free On Demand and do a marathon. That’s how I first got into Mad Men (I watched a season 1 marathon before the second season premiere), and it’s how I’m now watching USA’s Covert Affairs. I can’t actually tell you its regular time slot, but I watched three episodes last weekend (after having previously caught the first two that way). It’s like I can live without Christopher Gorham — until I see him. I love that they made his character, a blind CIA handler, a total chick magnet because he totally would be.

Your turn. Do you use on demand? How? My personal pet peeve: Networks that won’t let you fast-forward through their shows (cough, NBC).

Comments (53 total) Add your comment
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  • Vicky

    Haha, I’ve watched 4 or 5 episodes of Covert Affairs on Hulu. I have NO idea what time it’s actually on TV.

    • jasper

      oooooh funnny! heeeey

  • Kate

    I use On Demand (that is how I watch both Chuck and Survivor during the fall/winter), its how I watch BBC america (I don’t know why I can get it on demand, but not the channel itself) and I am hoping the Big Bang Theory is on because Thursdays are already too full. I think I also watch all of Thursday night NBC on demand too, though that will be changing I think because Flashforward won’t be taking up space on my dvr. You just have to wait until the next day (Saturday mornings for Survivor for some reason)

    • Meg

      Sadly it’s not. I always had a hard time catching it on Mondays and if I missed it, I missed it. Very upsetting.

  • Jennifer

    I don’t have on-demand or a dvr, but I do use my vcr frequently. It doesn’t cost me extra each month and I can skip the commercials – works just fine for me.

    • Will

      I used to think the same thing about a VCR until I got a DVR. Programming a DVR is so much easier. It can hold a lot more shows. Plus you can start watching a show while it is still recording, so if you are 15 minutes late for the start of your favorite show, you don’t have to wait another 45 minutes to start watching.

    • jasper

      ooooh….jennifer just served all of us that have a dvr

  • Kingsley Shacklebolt

    I don’t even have cable. It’s too expensive.

    • Steven

      Sir, your choice of name for this comment=badass. Well done.

    • bamalam

      OMG…is this the original Rusty Shackleford? …not the racist one that was running around today?

  • Lauren

    We don’t own a DVR so we take advantage of On Demand quite frequently. I missed the first episode of Mad Men this season and they didn’t release it to On Demand until the Monday after the next episode aired. So now, I am behind a week for the whole season. (They air reruns during the week way too late @ night for me). AMC has cost themselves my ratings for the entire season by delaying On Demand availability. Bummer.

    • Lauren

      Sorry, I skipped the sentence where I meant to say: We enjoy our On Demand usage but there are issues with the way some networks release their content. It is great for new shows though. On Demand helped me get introduced to NBC’s Parenthood. Definitely will be watching it in prime time this fall.

    • jasper


      First off….AMC really doesn’t give an eff. and Second, your viewing isn’t counted unless you have a Nielsen box.

  • Sara

    I don’t have a DVR or cable at all in my apartment. I watch all of my shows on Hulu or on the network’s websites. But my parents had On-Demand, and I think I watched about 70% of my tv on that. Especially crime dramas!

  • Mike

    I admit to down loading shows so I can watch them whenever I feel like commercial free, but if I had cable I would definitely use a DVR.

  • Peg

    Only own one DVR. I have, however, recorded two shows on the DVR (it’s limit) and watched a third on a different TV, because there were three things I wanted to see, all at the same time.
    LOVE time shifting. Monday is my Project Runway night, for example.

  • Jay

    As a former Comcast customer, I can say that I used to watch stuff On Demand all the time.
    Since I switched to satellite TV, On demand is no longer an option, but since it is welll under half the price of Comcast, I dont miss it at all.
    Is On Demand worth $150 a month(the price difference vs satellite)…? I dont think so

    • jasper

      to you it’s not, but to normal non-sarcastic people, it is.

  • Kristen

    YES!!!! Spongebob 24/7!! I can’t let the 1st grader watch it on the computer anymore since he accidently discovered “Spongebong Hemppants”. As if the square yellow guy wasn’t subversive enough.

  • Jason

    I dont DVR much even though I have one, I just tend to be home on the most part to watch things when they come on. But I watch alot of streaming on demand movies and tv shows from Netflix. Even with only a 1 disc out at a time plan, I probably get through 3 or 4 things a week from their on demand service.

    • Bren

      I don’t have cable or a DVR, but I use Netflix Instant all the time, too. That’s how I’ve been catching the BBC shows.

  • Julz

    DVR = best.thing.ever.

  • Christina

    I totally use On Demand. That’s how I got into True Blood by watching the whole 1st season over a weeks period.

    • Pam

      On Demand is how I got into True Blood too! (And Dexter, and Mad Men, and Covert Affairs, and US of Tara, and Gravity…) I LOVE my DVRs (yes – plural). I never thought about naming them until now. Thanks, Mandi!

  • Julia

    I used OnDemand much more when I had my free trials of HBO and Showtime. Now it’s just when I’m extremely bored.

  • Ron

    I own 2 DVRs which is less expensive than getting the DVR through my cable co. I also time shift by watching Hulu and the network sites. I like the cable networks like TNT that air the same episodes twice in one night, ie. The Closer, or FX’s Justified, Then I have a choice of when I can catch those shows.

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