Up to $6 billion (€4.94bn; £3.29bn) a year in US advertising revenues could be lost if the digital video recorder trend continues in the nation's homes.

A report by global technology consultancy Accenture says around 40% of American households will have DVRs by 2009.

The equipment, pioneered by TiVo, allows viewers to record and store TV programs and, more significantly, skip commercials. Up to 10% of the latter will go unwatched by 2009, according to the research.

Currently eight percent of homes have DVR technology, resulting in around two percent of ads being skipped.

The report's author, Accenture media and entertainment partner Theresa Wise, says TV advertising will grow by just 3% a year through 2010. The slowdown is the result of fragmented audiences, loss of market share by the big TV networks to cable rivals, and the increasing popularity of DVRs.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff