Did You Watch “Breaking Bad” Sunday?

Most conversations over the past few days have begun with, “Did you watch ‘Breaking Bad’ Sunday?” Between DVR, Netflix, and HBOGO, it’s been quite a while since I’ve viewed a show during its broadcast. This time I did, kind of, only a mere 15 minutes after its broadcast so that commercials could be skipped.

Spoiler alert – stop here if you are still waiting to watch the season premiere.

In the opening scene flash forward Walter White has hair, heavy artillery, and goes to retrieve the ricin from behind the electrical outlet in his home. If you recently watched or re-watched the prior season you will likely recall quite a few links to this scene. And, recalling those links makes the season premiere even more engaging. I re-watched last season’s final episode on Netflix prior to catching Sunday’s broadcast. Others I spoke with binge watched or re-watched the entire prior season. We all used Netflix. No one I spoke with used DVR or watched the re-runs on AMC. Maybe you re-watched the prior episode, prior season, or just got caught up with the broadcast using Netflix. It’s becoming increasingly more common for TV series to be viewed in this manner. But, those of you that relate are still in the minority.

Our Q2 Connected Home Consumer Index report found that 40 percent of U.S. Internet homes have a TV that is connected to the Internet. Obviously, no Internet connection on the TV means no Netflix. Six in ten families that wanted to re-watch or catch-up with “Breaking Bad” were relegated to broadcast re-runs. Or they could huddle around a computer or tablet.

A network’s audience is no longer only reached through broadcast, syndication, and DVR. Digital services add an entirely new dimension to programming strategies. Broadband channels such as Netflix offer opportunities to develop, grow, and engage an audience. When making content licensing and programming decisions its important to know how much of your audience has over-the-top options on their TV. AMC viewer’s rank 16th among the networks we measured in the Connected Home Consumer Index. Fifteen other networks can capture more of their viewer’s through over-the-top programming on the TV.

As the fall TV season gets underway with epic shows such as HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire,” FX’s “Sons of Anarchy,” and AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” all premiering new seasons, viewers catching-up on prior seasons will migrate to digital services. Each network is able to capture a different amount of their audience through these digital services. Further, consumers are using different devices to connect their TV to the Internet. Check out our recent press release to see which networks are able to capture more of their audience through broadband services on the TV.

Now, back to “Breaking Bad”…Who do you think is going to come out on top, Hank or Walt?