"In a troubling sign for TV networks and advertisers, the use of digital video recorders -- which enable consumers to fast-forward through commercials ..."

Why would you suggest that DVR's are *suddenly* a "troubling sign"? This makes it seem that you think that fast-forwarding through commercials is something new that came along with DVR's. In case you hadn't noticed, VCR's (whether Beta or VHS format) have the same transport controls (play, rewind, fast-forward, etc.) that DVR's have. I've been fast-forwarding through commercials since I got my first VCR back in 1980...that's almost 3 decades now!! And everyone I know does (and has been doing) so as well. A commercial has to have something very special (or a nearly naked woman!!) in order to get me to watch it...and that means that I only watch about 1 commercial a night. If TV networks and advertisers haven't been particularly worried about this "troubling sign" for the last nearly 3 decades, I doubt they're suddenly going to have any additional worry about the DVR's contribution to the phenomena.

Advertisers have been wasting their money on commercials for TV for a very long time now...if not since the concept was first thought up.