TiVo users sold on Super Bowl ads
Tue Jan 28, 1:24 AM ET
By Chris Marlowe

LOS ANGELES (The Hollywood Reporter) --- As far as TiVo households were concerned, the most valuable player during Sunday's Super Bowl broadcast didn't play for either team.

That honor went to the fictional Terry Tate, the linebacker character from the Reebok commercial. TiVo's aggregate statistics show that the "Office Linebacker" spot had more viewings than anything else during the game.

Movie ads were popular too, with Universal Pictures' spot for "Bruce Almighty" being the most-viewed movie commercial. It was the sixth most-viewed ad overall, in fact, bested only by Reebok and four different Anheuser-Busch spots.

Sony Pictures' commercial for "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" was the 10th most-viewed ad. The other movie ads shown during the Super Bowl, in order of popularity, included "The Matrix Reloaded" (No. 21), "Daredevil" (No. 40), "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" (No. 43), "The Hulk" (No. 44) and "Anger Management" (No. 47).

John Ghashghai, TiVo's director of audience research, said commercial breaks during the game got more viewers than action on the field. TiVo calculates viewership by adding together the number of people watching live with the number of people replaying the same second of programming, using aggregated, anonymous data. Therefore, the numbers are boosted by people who watch that moment more than once.

"This analysis shows once again that viewers watch the content that they find most compelling, even when the most compelling content is the commercials," said Brodie Keast, senior vp and general manager of the TiVo service.

"I think this shows the measuring stick TV research is moving toward," Ghashghai said. "Instead of measuring a program, we're measuring each moment. It says a lot about the future as well as what advertisers can get out of it."

Viewership dropped to its lowest point of the ABC broadcast during the analysis session that started at halftime. It picked up sharply when the musical entertainment took over, peaking with a Gwen Stefani-Sting duet.

Some people did watch the game, of course. The most popular play was one of the interceptions returned for a touchdown by Tampa Bay's Dwight Smith.

Ghashghai added that the average TiVo household utilized the Trickplay features -- which include pausing, rewinding and fast-forwarding during live broadcasts -- an average of 40 times during the game.