I did just hear an ad on my Time Warner info channel (there cause my cable went out last night and didn't record 3 Breaking Bad episodes :grrr: ) where apparently they're offering the recording of 4 programs concurrently with their DVR if you dish out the big dollars for some kind of signature service.
That's something I guess, assuming it's not just recording programs on different boxes in your house (which it may be). Although networks also don't like us watching stuff on demand or on DVR because they know we're fast-forwarding through all the ads. Which as you mention is why they care most about live ratings.
(I never watch commercials when I watch live, either, I either flip to another channel or tune out whatever ads are on).
I would say they need to find another model, but that would end up with everything being paid like HBO, and, well, I just can't afford that. My cable bill's insane enough already.