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Ads Bowl Over TiVo Users More Than Game

January 28, 2003|Jon Healey | Times Staff Writer

In the media glare of the Super Bowl, one linebacker stood out: Terry Tate.

But Tate wasn't in the lineup for Tampa Bay or Oakland -- he starred in a Reebok commercial that aired during the game's third quarter.

And according to a study by TiVo Inc., a San Jose company that makes digital video recorders, the fictitious Tate's Reebok commercial drew more TiVo viewings than any other segment of the game.

TiVo recorders, which are in more than half a million homes, also enable users to pause, replay and fast-forward through shows as they are broadcast. The technology has yet to spread to the masses, but many broadcasters fear it could kill advertiser-supported television by encouraging viewers to skip ads.

TiVo found that more viewers watched and replayed the commercials than the Super Bowl itself. "Viewers watch the content that they find most compelling, even when the most compelling content is the commercials," said Brodie Keast of TiVo.

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