iTunes boosts prime time ratings for NBC, ABC

Both NBC and ABC have seen a rise in viewer ratings since adding select TV shows to the iTunes Music Store. NBC credits the availability of its shows on iTunes for the recent increase in viewers during prime time for one of its popular comedies.

NBC’s “The Office,” the most popular show on iTunes, delivered a 5.1 rating last Thursday—its highest ever—among adults 18 to 49. The series delivered a 4.5 the prior week. An NBC executive said he is confident that the iTunes exposure contributed to the rise. Frederick Huntsberry, president of NBCU Television Distribution, said iTunes is bringing new audiences to the show that would not otherwise have watched.

Meanwhile, ABC has also seen a ratings increase for its two most popular shows available on iTunes. Since they were added to Apple’s store in October, both “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives” are up versus the same period last year. “Lost” has seen its total audience rise 14 percent and ratings for adults 18 to 49 are up 28 percent. The total audience for “Desperate Housewives” is up 7 percent and 18 to 49 ratings are up 3 percent.

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