Why advertisers care how long a show sits in your DVR

A network satellite dish is mounted next to a DirecTV dish on the roof of an apartment building.

So, how long does it take you to watch all those programs you DVR?

You might not care if you wait a day or two, but you know who does? Network executives and advertisers.

That's because ad deals are based on what's known as C3, a measurement of commercial minutes seen live and over the following three days. Advertisers don't pay for your eyeballs if you watch "Scandal" on day four.

"From the networks' perspective, they're saying, 'Well hey, if someone didn't skip the commercial on day four, why are they worth nothing?'" says Brian Wieser, senior analyst at Pivotal Research Group.

But some ads do get stale. That ad for the Saturday-only sale? Doesn't do much good on Sunday.

So now tell us, how long does it take you to get to the shows you missed?

About the author

Kate Davidson is a regular contributor to Marketplace.

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