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iTunes Credited with Boosting Primetime Ratings

samzenpus posted more than 8 years ago | from the the-more-you-watch-the-more-you-watch dept.

Television 263

grandgator writes "TV Week reports on NBC's claims that iTunes downloads are boosting ratings for their primetime shows. Citing one example 'NBC's "The Office" delivered a 5.1-its highest ratings ever-last Thursday among adults 18 to 49, a bump the network credits in large part to the show's popularity as an iPod download. Such a connection between podcast success and broadcast ratings success is particularly significant because the NBC data is among the first available evidence of what network executives have been gambling on when striking their new media deals-that the new video platforms are additive because they provide more entry points into a show for consumers.'"

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That can't be right (4, Funny)

wheany (460585) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508162)

The article must mean that the ratings have declined due to rampant piracy. Why would anyone watch something off the tv if they can pirate it from the iTunes online store.

Wait a while, the thrill will be gone and back to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508221)


Wait a while, the thrill will be gone and back to the ratings slump go the networks. What do you really expect? Lousy shows with the most ridiculous looking people (the "actors" from LA are freaks!), will, as always, get viewers to do other things. Yeah, right, I want to watch freakin' TV $how on a midget-sized picture. Once was new. Twice was stupid. The third time I won't let happen.

early post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508164)

SUCK IT NIGGROS

I HAVE AN APPLE MAC IN MY BUTT

not AKJFIGFbb dnjosdjiosd jio jiodsjiosd uio uiosd jiosd jiods jio

podcast (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508168)

Speaking of The Office (original version), and iTunes. Ricky Gervais has a podcast. See: http://www.guardian.co.uk/rickygervais/ [guardian.co.uk]

and it's HORRIBLE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508260)

have you actually listened to this big steaming pile of crap? It's horrible. Ricky and two of his mates sitting in a studio and saying whatever comes into their minds. It's not funny and it's not insightful. It's HORRIBLE. He's cashing in (it's sponsored by the Guardian) and you can tell he has absolutely no enthusiasm for it.

Re:and it's HORRIBLE (-1, Troll)

Placebo Messiah (895157) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508296)

You're clearly as deep as a gob of spit Karl is a comedic genius I've listened to each one of their episodes, and it's fairly evident only one of them was slightly weaker than the others and that probably had something to do with the podcast being recorded on Jan 1st after the party. Seriously you post anonymously because you know your sterilized obsession with Fraser and Astroboy reruns is pure donkylingus that obscures your judgement towards quality entertainment *kisses*

Grow up fanboy (-1, Flamebait)

lxs (131946) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508332)

Could you repeat that in English please? I think I disagree with you, but I can't make out what you're saying.

Clearly you are mr.Gervais' target audience, as people who can string a coherent sentence together find his whining annoying beyond belief. The guy has made one decent series (extras was horrible IMNSHO) and he thinks he is god. He isn't.

(And no, I'm not the AC who commented above, I haven't heard the podcast, but I have heard plenty of interviews with RG, so I really don't feel the need to expose myself to any more to his hugely inflated ego)

Re:and it's HORRIBLE (1)

Pyf (933418) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508324)

Being that you asked I feel I should as well....Have you even listened to it? Cashing in, ie getting paid for doing it? Its a very similar style to his old radio show which he did for 4 years. If thats says he's got no enthusiasm for it, the fact he acts in a very similar way to how he did when he interviewed Larry David might. During which he could only be described as acting like a giddy school girl. The one question I have though, is why is it the Ricky Gervais Podcast, not the Karl Pilkington Podcast.... :)

Re:and it's HORRIBLE (1)

stoney27 (36372) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508384)

oh Chimpanzee that Monkey News....

Well if it is so horrible why does it have such a high rating. I don't think the anonymous Coward gets the humor. The stuff that comes out of Karl, one of Ricky's friends, is unbelievable.

Too bad it seems that Ricky is only going to do 12 podcasts.

-S

Re:podcast (1)

Pyf (933418) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508312)

Yeah brilliant podcast, just like his old xfm radio show. Its the most downloaded podcast in the world now, seems like a good way to get lots of publicity for extras/office/flanimals etc....

Re:podcast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508356)

Its the most downloaded podcast in the world now

it's the most popular podcast in the UK. your itunes store gives the ratings on the itunes Regional settings, not worldwide

Re:podcast (1)

Pyf (933418) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508374)

No its #1 in the world, well at least thats what they say during the show.... According to iTunes its #6 in america and #1 in UK, so doesnt sound an unreasonably claim....

Makes sence (5, Informative)

Aqua OS X (458522) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508171)

Although I'm fairly disappointed in the way Apple delivers their TV content (too small, can't burn to DVD, etc), iTunes is the reason I have started to tune into shows such as The Office.

Moreover, it's the only (legal) way I can watch Battlestar Galactica on a weekly basis.

Spell check on isle CLUELESS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508201)

Senseless but true

Re:Spell check on isle CLUELESS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508246)

Spell check on isle CLUELESS

That's spelled "aisle" not "isle", you dickless cumguzzler!

Re:Spell check on isle CLUELESS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508365)

Its possible the GP was referring to a small island and simply got his idioms mixed up. Perhaps english is not a first language for him/her.

Re:Makes sence (1)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508215)

Moreover, it's the only (legal) way I can watch Battlestar Galactica on a weekly basis.

Isn't it on the Sci-Fi network? You don't have cable TV? What the heck is wrong with you? For around $50/month you get sweet digital joy delivered to your television set 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can't beat that entertainment value.

Re:Makes sence (2, Informative)

gmf (810466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508243)

Isn't it on the Sci-Fi network? You don't have cable TV? What the heck is wrong with you?

Uhm, perhaps there are places in the world where there's no sci-fi network on cable tv? Not everyone lives in the US.

Re:Makes sence (3, Informative)

cmdrbuzz (681767) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508278)

True, not everyone lives in the US, however in order to be-able to purchase TV shows from iTunes, you have to have a US credit card.

Re:Makes sence (1)

Harlockjds (463986) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508503)

in some area's sci-fi isn't a part of the basic cable package. Some people may not be willing to spend 50 bucks extra a month for jusr one show.

Or the person may work friday nights or (gasp) have a social life and not have a tivo/vcr.

I know i'm happy it's availabe on itunes since i know i'll miss it friday night but i can watch it when i get back home on sunday.

Re:Makes sence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508311)

What there are people living outside the US!?! Jeeez!

Re:Makes sence (2, Interesting)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508615)

Then they are all evil terrorist threatening U.S. liberty!!!

Lopata.

P.S. The major problem of the iTunes Store (and any subscription service for that matter) is that you have to have good internet connection. And still, video of good enough quality takes lots of space. (Think DivX or MPEG4/AVC: 10 minutes ~ 100MB or more). Even if Apple would start selling h.264 full size movie downloads - who would want to pay money for ability to kill connection for a whole day or more? With all the DRMing stuff that would be too burdensome to customer. So for now Apple decided to go with something they can fit into appropriate download size.

But on other side, this is the only option at moment. Quality streaming had proven to be undoable on internet: average (read: cheap) home connection (infamous last mile) has way too high latencies.

Re:Makes sence (4, Interesting)

gutnor (872759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508322)

There are people out there that don't want to pay 50$/month for Cable TV. Or even have the TV.

I know, I don't have a TV. Most of my friends don't have a TV. I don't care paying for digital joy 24/7, I have internet and a monthly subscription to a postal dvd service, and that's enough for me. If tomorow I get bored, I would rather take WoW than TV !

However from time to time ( like for Battlestar Galactica ) I would like to be able to download 1 specific show ( .. I mean legally download .. ) without waiting 3/6 months for it to be available on DVD rental.

But anyway, I'm out of luck, there is no itune download here in the uk ...

Re:Makes sence (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508381)

Maybe he is working or going to school or whatever during the timeslot it plays in.

Re:Makes sence (1)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508571)

Can't you record it on a TV Tuner on your PC and then convert to a video to downloaded to your iPod? I think that's legal, isn't it?

Watching shows around the water cooler (3, Insightful)

dim5 (844238) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508591)

I love The Office (US version, never seen the UK version). I've been watching it since day 1 and telling everyone I know about it. But here's the thing. Have you ever listened to someone describe a funny TV show? It's awful. Not only is it impossible to reproduce the timing and context of the show that made it funny, but now the person forced to listen to you imitating Homer Simpson must guess as to whether you just can't do a good Homer, or if the writing for the Simpsons really isn't funny.

PMPs finally make it possible for me to come in the next day and say, "hey, you've got to watch this clip from last night's Office." I would certainly get more people to start watching the show by actually showing them part of the show than by possibly injuring someone with my horrible Dwight impersonation.

Re:Makes sense (2, Informative)

clifyt (11768) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508616)

" Although I'm fairly disappointed in the way Apple delivers their TV content (too small, can't burn to DVD, etc)"

While I'm not going to disagree with you about the DVD aspect (this bit me in the ass yesterday as I was trying to get a few friends to watch BSG on my Mac -- my screen is almost as big as my TV -- but in the wrong room).

BUT it actually seems pretty decent to me. While watching the Resurrection Ship PtII episode -- I ended up seeing details that I didn't earlier (such as the cy-clones floating into space as their ship was disintegrating around them -- in the hotel room I originally watched it I just saw debris). Yeah it's Lossy (and so is DVD...but less so), but it scales pretty well. Personally I'm amazed at how much quality they can pack into a 'too small' package...then again, I just ordered BSG Season 1 on DVD and will probably do so for 2 as soon as that's over.

Obvious (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508173)

*Gasp* *Shock* *Horror* Do you really mean that if you give the viewers what they want, they will be happy? No way, I don't believe you!

iTunes Payola (3, Insightful)

capt.Hij (318203) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508174)

How long will it now take before we start seeing iTunes Payola. Networks eager to get their shows on people's ipods will certainly be tempted to try to strike special deals to make their shows more easily obtainable. They may try to offer Apple cash, try to reduce the cost to consumers, or try to find ways to get their links on the front page. If it happens, can an individual state try to take action against the practice? This may turn out to be another interesting episode of the theatre of greed.

Re:iTunes Payola (3, Insightful)

heatdeath (217147) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508192)

Networks eager to get their shows on people's ipods will certainly be tempted to try to strike special deals to make their shows more easily obtainable

This makes no sense. People aren't going to browse iTunes looking for good TV shows to watch. They're going to download the shows that they missed. This makes the series more watchable, because missing a single episode doesn't ruin the plot. (It also makes it more portable)

But, your scenario you described is silly. You fail.

Re:iTunes Payola (1)

damsa (840364) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508270)

I already saw this episode on Office. It's the Christmas party where everybody wants the iPod.

Re:iTunes Payola (0)

RockModeNick (617483) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508527)

Damn homemade ovenmitt!

Re:iTunes Payola (2, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508280)

'' How long will it now take before we start seeing iTunes Payola. Networks eager to get their shows on people's ipods will certainly be tempted to try to strike special deals to make their shows more easily obtainable. They may try to offer Apple cash, try to reduce the cost to consumers, or try to find ways to get their links on the front page. ''

It might happen, but it won't be as bad as on radio. On the radio, if they pay, you can hear it, if they don't pay, you can't hear it. On iTunes, what would happen: If they pay, it is advertised big on page 1. If they don't pay, it is still there on page 3 or 4.

Re:iTunes Payola (-1, Troll)

yotto (590067) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508343)

Wait, you're mad that televisions executives would dare to LOWER THE PRICE in order to increase downloads of their shows? Are you insane?

Lower the price all you want, television executives! Make BSG episodes available at 10c each!

Next, you'll complain that Fox will start rebroadcasting Firefly in order to trick you into watching their channel again.

Re:iTunes Payola (-1, Troll)

TobascoKid (82629) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508389)

Networks eager to get their shows on people's ipods will certainly be tempted to try to strike special deals to make their shows more easily obtainable.

They could just put downloadble copies on thier own websites, already in downloadable in an iPod friendly file for free. Channel 4 in the UK are going to do something with the launch of the IT Crowd [channel4.com] - while that looks like it'll be streamed instead of downloaded, it's only a matter of time before they start making downloads of programmes available in order to drum up interest. As long as watching video on an iPod is not as good as watching it on the small screen (or should that now be called the the medium screen) it'll be a great marketting tool to sell the broadcast.

iTunes video store implementation for Linux? (1)

Debian Troll's Best (678194) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508175)

Normally I'm a pretty hardcore Debian user, but at my current contract job at a fairly major publishing house, I've been dealing with quite a lot of Mac systems. While OS X still has a ways to go before I would consider replacing my trusty Debian desktop, things like iTunes Music Store (iTMS) and the relatively recent addition of iTunes music videos and TV downloads really make the switch worth considering. But if only iTMS could come to Debian!!! While writing a little multithreaded print workflow app in AppleScript for the client, I struck upon an idea: what if I could expose the functions of iTunes using AppleScript in a client/server type arrangement, and then make those functions accessible across the network to a Debian system running a modified dselect iTunes browser? AppleScript is pretty powerful, as any seasoned Mac user will attest, so it was quick work to create a handy little mutithreaded fully re-entrant AppleScript based server for the core iTunes functions (load song, play song, browse playlist, buy song, video clip etc). The next part was to patch dselect on the Linux side so it could connect to my AppleScript server/wrapper on the Mac. I'd previously extended dselect with a Scheme-scriptable plugin, so it only took me a day or two to modify dselect with some Scheme macros so that it emulated to look and feel of iTunes (using ASCII art of course!!), but accessing the actual iTMS functions though the network exposed AppleScript..errr..script. It worked a treat!! It is now a simple matter of running dselect on my Debian box to browse the iTMS, as long as the Mac over in the corner running the AppleScript wrapper is turned on of course. I have actually implemented a direct USB->USB cross over connection to get around bottlenecking problems with our Ethernet so I don't have to put up with skipping in iTMS MP3 or MPEG4 video playback. Now it works great!!! The final step will be to patch apt-get with iTMS interface functionality...then buying my favorite music and TV shows legally will only be an apt-get install Justin-Timberlake or apt-get upgrade Desperate-Housewives away! Which is nice.

first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508177)

to claim first post

Re:first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508208)

damn, how did I get rated offtopic in like 1 second. does it automatically screen for "first post"?

Paying for TV is for morons (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508185)

Who in their right mind would pay for television episode downloads? IRC and Bittorrent has these episodes in glorious XVid format without the bullshit commercials.
Try:
http://www.ircklipper.info/search.php?Description= the+office [ircklipper.info]
http://www.mininova.org/search/?search=the+office [mininova.org]

Re:Paying for TV is for morons (3, Interesting)

Aqua OS X (458522) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508198)

Well, iTunes shows also lack commercials and also go online the very next day. But these are legal and download a hell of a lot faster then they would on BT.

Re:Paying for TV is for morons (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508213)

Well, iTunes shows also lack commercials

Yeah, but is it in HDTV aspect?

and also go online the very next day.

TVTorrents [tvtorrents.com] and BitMeTv [bitmetv.org] usually have The Office posted within 4-5 hours after air.

But these are legal

Your laws don't apply to me.

and download a hell of a lot faster then they would on BT.

Bittorrent is all about the upstream. Your download speed is affected by upstream bandwidth. It's your problem if your American broadband connection can't keep up.

Re:Paying for TV is for morons (2, Interesting)

Freexe (717562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508295)

Are you sure? I can download through bittorrent at about 1.3MBytes/s and most content servers max out at 500KBytes/s.
Saying that, I would be happy paying for TV shows/Films if the quality is high and the DRM is acceptable, but no such service exists (I pay for all my music at emusic.com which has no DRM and the bitrates are fair), until then I will download my TV shows for free.

Re:Paying for TV is for morons (1)

random_culchie (759439) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508206)

Maybe people that don't want cobbled together rips of differing quality.

Re:Paying for TV is for morons (3, Insightful)

tbone1 (309237) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508209)

Who in their right mind would pay for television episode downloads? IRC and Bittorrent has these episodes in glorious XVid format without the bullshit commercials.

Um, it could be that some people believe in paying for something that isn't theirs, and that they may perceive IRC and Bittorrent to be stealing? I know, these wacky oldsters with their fax machines and hula hoops and libertarian ideas about property rights ...

Re:Paying for TV is for morons (3, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508306)

I know, these wacky oldsters with their fax machines and hula hoops and libertarian ideas about property rights ...

Libertarians support government-enforced monopolies restricting certain forms of speech for corporate profit? Interesting.

Re:Paying for TV is for morons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508361)

What's a hula hoop?

A serious question (1)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508590)

"it could be that some people believe in paying for something that isn't theirs"

If I tape something from the air and watch it on my iPod video, am I stealing?

If I get the tape from someone else (because I forgot to record it that night), and put it on my iPod, am I stealing?

Seems hard to steal something that the network is giving away for free (that is, they broadcast it).

Really, I'm not just being academic with these questions; I just don't see how you can "steal" stuff that's broadcast free for anybody to see.

Re:Paying for TV is for morons (-1, Troll)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508271)

And presumably, if everyone did that, the money to make shows like The Office would magically appear in the networks' bank accounts? Another case of an "I'm special, it's OK if I break the law or behave immorally" fallacy.

Re:Paying for TV is for morons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508398)

Would you please tell me then how this differs when I fire up my replaytv and skip through commericals? I start watching shows(if I can watch them when they air) 15 minutes after they start JUST so I can do this. Tell me PLEASE how this differs from me downloading them without commericals(other than the process of course).

Re:Paying for TV is for morons (1)

forgotten_my_nick (802929) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508428)

You pay for basic cable no?

Although your actions is why a lot of TV shows now have blatant product placement within them and some are just adverts in disguise.

Re:Paying for TV is for morons (2, Insightful)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508458)

It's not that different: if everyone did that, commercial TV would either die or find alternatives, such as product placements, adverts spliced more closely into the shows or going subscription-based. We have another alternative here (UK) of state-funded, advert-free TV.

That said, it is clearly more wrong to illegaly download copies of shows, when there is a legal alternative which provides the makers of the show with income, than it is to skip the adverts electronically. At present, advertisers know that most people don't watch the adverts very much anyway, which is why they go out of their way to make them grab attention - loud, bright, odd, funny etc.

Re:Paying for TV is for morons (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508402)

Honest people who believe in rewarding the creators of quality programmes.

Re:Paying for TV is for morons (3, Interesting)

Shihar (153932) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508526)

No, it isn't for morons. It is for people who don't steal and (far more importantly) people who don't have time to waste looking for a bit torrent link that works and is offering something of quality.

The other Friday I missed Battlestar Galactica. Sure, I could have done what I used to do was the fuck around with BT to get it. Instead though, I just threw them 2 bucks, which for a guy with a job is nothing, and got a good quality version without any hassle.

Hell, the reason why I will pay for a TV show is the same reason why I will pay for a videogame. First, I don't want to be a douche and not give the people who made it their due. Second, it is just a hell of a lot easier to simply buy what you want then to screw around trying to download it.

At this point, the only thing I am waiting for now is for all TV programming to be offered free, any time, but with commercials. It is down right archaic that I need to be in front of the television at a certain time to watch a show. I should be able to watch it whenever I damn well please with commercials. Just disable the fastforward function while viewing commercials and you have something as good as normal TV.

Wish I could say I predicted this... (3, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508188)

But all I can say is that it doesn't surprise me at all.

When the video is available from iTMS, it's uncoupled from the network schedule. You can send an episode to a friend as a gift. You can buy one show and see whether you want any more, and the critical thing is, you can watch it anytime you want. It's a whole new ball game.

-jcr

Re:Wish I could say I predicted this... (1)

stunt_penguin (906223) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508367)

You missed one point, it should also have been done years ago, is the way of the future. Hope the RIAA are listeining, the tossers.

Re:Wish I could say I predicted this... (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508451)

When the video is available from BitTorrent, it's uncoupled from the network schedule. You can send an episode to a friend (or a total stranger) as a gift. You can download one show and see whether you want any more, and the critical thing is, you can watch it anytime you want. It's a whole old ball game.

It's obvious! (5, Funny)

heatdeath (217147) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508194)

Before, I had to watch TV for free on that terrifying screen that was so easy on my eyes. Now I can pay money to watch it on a tiny screen that I have to hold in a viewable position for 40 consecutive minutes.

No wonder video iPods are such a hit.

Re:It's obvious! (1)

uonuoha (167925) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508282)

Yah... but now I can use the extra 20 minutes to do barbell curls...

Re:It's obvious! (4, Interesting)

peragrin (659227) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508287)

Or you can get a clue and join the real world.

I wanted to see how it was so I downloaded the free battlestar galatica season opener special. I played it on my TV just fine and it looked just like the regular shows. Other than the fact it was commercial free and I could pause it at will.

So i downloaded the season 2 and every night for 4 nights I watched 2-3 episodes to get the season i missed. Now I can watch the new episodes without having missed anything.

On my TV downstairs on the couch. I do wish HD was an option but that's okay for $2 I can watch it when i want to without interruption.

What I want to know though is is apple selling more quicktime pro licenses. It's the only way to get good fullscreen viewing of protected content. I wish mplayer would work but it doesn't.

Re:It's obvious! (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508486)

There is a tiny applescript that you can use to make QuickTime Player go fullscreen. You just launch your file, hit pause, then run the script. It works just fine.

tell application "QuickTime Player"
present front movie scale screen
end tell

(Normally that second line would be indented)

Re:It's obvious! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508562)

You know, Quicktime is multi-platform. Is there any way to do this on anything other than a Mac?

If Only... (4, Insightful)

Placebo Messiah (895157) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508216)

...Fox would have pulled their collective heads out of their universal ass before they cancelled Arrested Development and podcasted it to supplement the ratings.

Re:If Only... (-1, Troll)

damsa (840364) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508279)

Fox does free podcasts, you can download your favorite episode of Arrested Development free of DRM.

http://www.fox.com/foxcast/ [fox.com]

Re:If Only... (1)

Placebo Messiah (895157) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508352)

um there's only 26 episodes there

Re:If Only... (1)

damsa (840364) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508497)

I think, having the past 1.5 seasons on is pretty reasonable. It's free, there is no video. I don't understand the troll mod. You asked for Arrested Development podcasts, and I linked it. Oh well.

Re:If Only... (1)

IRNI (5906) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508508)

yeah nice. audio only casts with a guy describing an episode to you. how entertaining.

Re:If Only... (1)

damsa (840364) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508534)

I swear, they had audio of the TV show. I guess I was wrong. It's some dude describing the show.

Mass media entertainment to the rescue? (3, Interesting)

wing03 (654457) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508241)

I suppose at its best, you could have a world where people get out of their cars, saving the air, and use the travel time on public transit to do their TV watching.

At its worst, there'll be alot of iPod video junkies strung out waiting for their next hit.

TV anywhere and everywhere, the new opiate for the masses.

a good start (1)

BobWeiner (83404) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508244)

If more shows migrate towards iTunes I may just wind up cancelling my basic cable. I don't watch much television - I'd prefer paying for shows I like (without ads) a la carte. The Office "Christmas Party" episode was my first video purchase online. Quality overall is pretty good, too.

Good for The Office, good (?) for NBC (5, Interesting)

fighthairloss (455826) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508248)

I'm glad to see the success of The Office online. Overall, I suppose NBC (or whoever made the decision within NBC to iTunes-enable their primetime) should be congratulated for their forsight.

A few things I wonder about though:

1. now that NBC's taken this (presumably risky, in their minds) step in new-fangled distribution, and now that they've seen some early signs of success, will they now believe they invented this new medium and start demanding higher pricing, forced purchase of "blocks" of episodes, or -gasp- more DRM restrictions from Jobs & co?

2. Does anyone know the story behind NBC's decision to go iTunes in the first place? I'm just guessing here, but I'm thinking there was a rebel executive somewhere who had to do jump through hoops to convince management that this was a good choice. Of course, that just might be jaded old me predisposed to think the worst of labels and studios based on their traditional less-than-progressive stances on anything that challenges their conventional wisdom.

3. I wonder at what point is it financially worth it for a studio to produce a "TV" show and sell it exclusively off-air. For example, Arrested Development [savethebluths.org] is one of the most brilliant shows to come on in years, but it's doing rather poorly in viewer ratings. Conceivably, if it sold on iTunes, and DVD & iTunes sales were strong enough, would a studio ever have enough balls to make a TV show that wasn't distributed on TV?

Re:Good for The Office, good (?) for NBC (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508421)

2. Does anyone know the story behind NBC's decision to go iTunes in the first place? I'm just guessing here, but I'm thinking there was a rebel executive somewhere who had to do jump through hoops to convince management that this was a good choice.

I don't know about NBC, but at the TV company I work for the executives do see the writing on the wall (BitTorrent et al. scarred the hell out of them) and are looking at ways of tapping into the onine market. So I doubt NBC management need much convincing - if anything the directive to find the best way to tackle the online world came from them.

Re:Good for The Office, good (?) for NBC (1)

TobascoKid (82629) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508438)

Conceivably, if it sold on iTunes, and DVD & iTunes sales were strong enough, would a studio ever have enough balls to make a TV show that wasn't distributed on TV?

Seeing as the studios make straight to syndication series, then one could assume that if the iTunes & DVD market grew large enough, then they probably would start taking the risks. I suppose it would follow a similar format to what happens now - if enough people watch the pilot (which I bet for dramas would be more like made for tv movies), then they'd make the series.

Re:Good for The Office, good (?) for NBC (1)

adamcr (836147) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508565)

ABC (owned by Disney, who through Pixar has a relationship with Steve Jobs) was the first to offer TV video content on the iTMS. This is pure speculation, but I'm guessing either:

a) during negotiations--before the video store was unvieled--Apple told NBC that they were talking to other networks, and they might want to get onboard early.

b) after NBC saw what ABC/Disney had done, they figured they'd better get into the ballgame.

However it happened, I'm sure they're glad they took the leap.

It's happened before (3, Interesting)

spectrumCoder (944322) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508264)

It should be obvious that distribution of a show, legal or otherwise, is going to get more people watching it. But no network exec would write a press release saying, "thanks to internet piracy, more people have heard of and are watching our show".

But now that iTunes is offering their shows (and paying them for every download) they're suddenly very keen to advertise the positive role that the internet can play in increasing exposure to their programmes.

Overall, though, it's definitely a good thing. Any press that demonstrates that internet downloads can benefit tv corporations as well as harming them increases the chance of a decent compromise between illegal file-sharing and drm'ed-to-the-gills restrictive legal downloads.

The irony (4, Informative)

Stan Vassilev (939229) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508267)

"TV Week reports on NBC's claims that iTunes downloads are boosting ratings for their primetime shows."

This comes after weeks long scandals by the TV networks that the iPod videos would ruin their ratings.

Well this is great, because MPAA and RIAA will finally acknowledge the need for legal instant internet movie downloads, and stop claiming that piracy costs them in the billions ignoring the promotion value! Not.

Testimonial.. (2, Interesting)

aychamo (932587) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508285)

Well, I can give my testimonial. I'm in a professional school in a different country than the US, so I can't really watch US TV shows. However, I downloaded shows like Lost and The Office from iTunes and have fell in love with them. I wish Apple would put you on an auto-purchase thing where it would download the next show as soon as its ready. I don't even know what night or day of the week these shows play.

So basically... (2, Insightful)

thatoneguy_jm (917104) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508301)

...someone needs to add "Firefly" to iTunes, pronto.

Re:So basically... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508556)

It's just 14 episodes or so. Just buy the DVD-set and rip them yourself :)

Re:So basically... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508593)

We're looking for exposure and thus another season, not the actual episodes.

Eyeballs (2, Insightful)

Stan Vassilev (939229) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508310)

"ITunes is one way to bring fresh eyeballs to the network, he said, in particular the younger demo that uses video iPods."

Don't you find it especially intimidating TV execs when they refer to people as eyeballs [roxettebunny.mu.nu] ?

Re:Eyeballs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508341)

"Don't you find it especially intimidating TV execs when they refer to people as eyeballs?"

No, I don't find it any more itimidating then computer geeks referring to a "slave" hard drive. It's jargon, get over it.

You hear that Bluth family! (4, Funny)

toupsie (88295) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508345)

Get Arrested Development in the iTunes store! I am sure George Michael can figure out how to rip episodes and upload them. He's a smart kid. Otherwise, Fox is going to cancel your show and you will be listening to "Christmas Time Is Here" all the time.

I am so sick of Fox being the network where great shows go to die.

When will they get the Daily Show?! (2, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508369)

I have yet to buy an iPod video yet, and I won't till they get the Daily Show on iTunes. However, I won't pay $1.99 per episode to get it, but I would LOVE for some type of subscription service, ie for somewhere less than $100 per year I could get that show delivered to me automatically on my iPod. It would be awesome for commuters if they could get up in the morning, grab their iPod from it's dock and take the train/bus/whatever and watch the previous nights Daily Show.
Pipedreams I guess....

Re:When will they get the Daily Show?! (1)

forgotten_my_nick (802929) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508414)

> I won't till they get the Daily Show on iTunes.

You can get the daily show for free on Comedy Central already?

Re:When will they get the Daily Show?! (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508431)

That would imply:
a: Having cable(not free!)
b: living in the US(I don't right now, and the Daily Show is one of the things I miss most)
I could probably try tracking it down on bittorrent, but it's just too much of a pain.

Huh? (5, Insightful)

MadJo (674225) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508376)

Okay now this makes absolutely no sense at all. Downloading tv-shows from Bittorrent declined the ratings, but downloading from iTunes actually increases ratings?
How are those two different? (aside from the money factor)

That's... (1)

StudlyDego73 (885492) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508379)

...what she said

Downloading is a hit! (1, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508400)

"Citing one example 'NBC's "The Office" delivered a 5.1-its highest ratings ever-last Thursday among adults 18 to 49, a bump the network credits in large part to the show's popularity as an iPod download."

I would also like to give credit to Steve Carrell's wife for making this iTunes download so popular.

There is NOTHING wrong with this article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508411)

As I understood it - the podcast viewership was included in the primetime ratings. This is the next logical step for the internet - television is free via radio signal, why should internet broadcast be considered 'pirate?'

The programming is paid by the advertisers which still show their adds on the podcast...

No one is losing out here - especially NBC and its advertisers.

Re:There is NOTHING wrong with this article (1)

TobascoKid (82629) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508460)

As I understood it - the podcast viewership was included in the primetime ratings.

I thougth the iTunes downloads are commercial free - so you would think they wouldn't count (why would an advertiser pay a lot of money to advertise on a high rated show if most of those ratings come from commercial free downloads?)

Been on my mind recently. (4, Insightful)

NXprime (573188) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508424)

I keep pinching myself in utter disbelief that the furture has come where a-la-carte programming would be real. Now it is and I can watch my favorite shows anywhere I want. iTunes is a direct download service with no viruses, dead torrent links, tracker downtime, RIAA threats, slow downloads, or any bothersome thing like that. Video quality is so nice on my 17" CRT monitor that it's just like watching a TV rip but better quality since there's no logo's anywhere or scrolling text, or weather updates or any crap like that. I tell ya, I wouldn't have it any other way. Freedom from commericals, folks. It's the read deal and I couldn't be any happier. NBC/ABC has all the good shows anyway like Lost, BSG, Monk, and The Office so we're not missing much from the other loser networks that refuse to join up with iTunes. That free Monk episode and SNL skit was just the icing on the cake.

As for buying all episodes on iTunes, that would be a mistake. I plan on buying Monk on DVD & ripping it so I can watch it again (some for the first time) on my PC. Too much glare watching it on an iPod but for long road trips life without it would be unbarable. But from time to time, like an SNL skit for example, it can't be beat. /hugs Steve Jobs. =)....

What is a 5.1? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508432)

I'm missing something here. Can someone please explain what a 5.1 is?

Re:What is a 5.1? (1)

TobascoKid (82629) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508495)

It's the rating - 5.1% of households watched the show.

Re:What is a 5.1? (3, Informative)

TobascoKid (82629) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508521)

Oops, actually that's the rating in the 18-49 demographic - so 5.1% of 18 - 49 year olds watched the show. You also get household ratings, which just tell you what percentage of households watched a show. So while a show may get a household rating of 3, it might get a 18-49 of 5 - meaning that the show is more popular among people 18 - 49 than against the population in general.

18-49 is considered a good demographic to target - as they do most of the spending.

Re:What is a 5.1? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508539)

I see. In the UK we have viewing figures in millions, and a 5.1% viewing figure would not even make the chart [barb.co.uk] . The top show here in the UK (Eastenders) was watched by 12.33 million people last week. The highest ratings I've seen were in excess of 21 million.

Oh please... (2)

Reignking (832642) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508454)

You mean it has nothing to do with being in a better time slot? I think putting it on Thursday nights has more to do with the ratings increase than anything...

win-win? (1)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508516)

So now that the networks are seing a benifit to their core buisness my making content available online perhaps they should consider offereing it for online for free...

Yeah I know it will never happen, but I doubt that the revenue generated from iTunes outweighs the potental revenue bump associated with a ratings hike like this.

BBC THE OFFICE - better (2, Insightful)

TheDoctorWho (858166) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508518)

Ricky Gervais is god, thankfully he's getting paid quite well for the bastardized version in the USA.

mod @do3n (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508627)

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