NBC's show "The Office" saw its highest ratings ever last Thursday in the crucial 18-to-49 demographic. And the network is attributing the bump to iTunes.
The venerable broadcaster signed a deal with Apple Computer last year to offer shows through the store. According to an article in TVWeek.com, officials at NBC said that the program is the network's top-performing podcast available through the online store.
"We are offering content and reaching viewers for the first time. These are audiences using iTunes to manage their music," Frederick Huntsberry, president of NBC Universal Television Distribution told TVWeek.com. "Now being able to download TV shows is a new technology they are playing with."
Blog community response:
"There's no foolproof way to know if that really was the case, but it really is eliminating all other factors. Anyway, this may have some trickle effect in syndication too, when the show comes to that level: if iTunes continues to deliver new audiences into the show's network run and keep the ratings up, NBC may be in a better position to take 'The Office' into syndication once it has the requisite number of episodes under its belt."
"Does this mean that they will both soon open the floodgates and make available much more content on iTunes? I sure hope so, because I want to cancel my cable and watch only iTunes downloaded videos."
--The Unofficial Apple Weblog
"The takeaway here is that iTunes is going to become the single most important gateway for online rich media content in the coming months and years - if it isn't already."