The folks at Ars Technica are asking question that I first started wondering about during the Patriot’s 2002 Superbowl win. After the game, the TiVo folks released an announcement that Britney Spears’ Pepsi commercial was the most-rewatched ad of the game. Their claim was apparently based on stats from the TiVos in people living rooms. We’re all familiar with Nielson TV ratings, but those viewers know their habits are being recorded. TiVo seems to make it possible to track everything we watch and, because it can track how we watch it, what we like to see most.
And that’s how we end up here:
TiVo subscribers hit rewind on the Jackson-Timberlake incident nearly three times more than they did on any other moment during the broadcast. That makes the moment the most rewatched ever during a broadcast in three years of measuring audience reactions, a TiVo representative said. The findings were based on an anonymous sampling of 20,000 TiVo subscribers who watched the Super Bowl.
Which leads to two questions: How anonymous is this “anonymous sampling” when TiVo has the unit’s unique ID number associated with the subscriber? What sort of events (past and/or future) might possibly be more watched than the one that most of the nation just witnessed this past Sunday?