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.
In fact, the series is NBC’s top-performing video podcast available on Apple’s iTunes, where it has been available since Dec. 6.
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.
In the case of “The Office,” the series was one of 12 NBC Universal shows that have been available since NBC struck a deal with with Apple in early December. (NBC added “Saturday Night Live” to the lineup last week.) In that short time period, “The Office” has accounted for one-third of all the NBCU downloads on iTunes, clearly the lion’s share of NBCU content available through the site.
Parsing out the credit for a ratings increase has always been tricky because myriad factors are often at play. However, NBC is confident that the iPod exposure contributed to the rise.
The article doesn’t mention bittorrent, but I fail to see how availability on the torrent network does not have the exact same effect..
The Bush administration on Wednesday asked a federal judge to order Google Inc. to turn over a broad range of material from its closely guarded databases.
The move is part of a government effort to revive an Internet child protection law struck down two years ago by the U.S. Supreme Court. The law was meant to punish online pornography sites that make their content accessible to minors. The government contends it needs the Google data to determine how often pornography shows up in online searches.
In court papers filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Justice Department lawyers revealed that Google has refused to comply with a subpoena issued last year for the records, which include a request for one million random Web addresses and records of all Google searches from any one-week period.
A critical analysis of private companies’ engagement with the identity cards scheme.
There has been considerable criticism of the Identity Cards Bill on the grounds of erosion of civil liberties, ineffectiveness in its intended aims and lack of clarity around cost, but relatively little attention seems to have been paid to the significant practical problems of implementing ID cards and the National Identity Register (NIR). There is considerable unease within the information technology (IT) industry around both the government’s record on IT procurement and the technologies – especially biometrics and database security – proposed for use in the ID cards scheme.
Most of the implementation of the scheme is likely to be done by private companies, some of which have already been meeting and lobbying government. These include companies with previous poor records in outsourced public sector work….
BT has attracted controversy in major government contracts. For example, problems at the Child Support Agency were exacerbated by the fact that BT Syntegra’s telephone system routed calls to the wrong offices around the country.
EDS’s government contracts have been plagued with controversy:
* Tax credits: The Working Tax Credits and Child Tax Credits system was launched in April 2003. By the end of the tax year 2003/04 one third of all tax credit awards had been overpaid , totalling £2.2 billion , and 713,000 households had been underpaid a total of £464 million.. 82,000 low income households were forced to make repayments. Following a lengthy dispute over compensation payments, EDS made an out of court settlement to HM Revenue and Customs of £71.25 million .This is the largest disclosed compensation payment from a supplier for failure of a government IT contract. The system is now being run by Cap Gemini, Ernst & Young and Fujitsu services.
* Child Support Agency: EDS installed this IT system 18 months late in March 2003, leading to calls for the IT system, and even the agency itself to be scrapped . The total cost of the project, with the contract running to 2010, is estimated at £456 million . A Work and Pensions Select committee inquiry into the scandal showed how IT problems hampered the progress of cases and slowed down the assessment of maintenance payments . Between 3 March 2003 and 19 September 2004, the Agency retained £12.1 million of payments to EDS.
In 2000, PA Consulting was employed to advise on the awarding of the contract to set up the Criminal Records Bureau, responsible for legally required criminal record checks on people working with children. PA’s advice sent the contract to Capita, whose mismanagement led to months of delays, causing problems for thousands of job applicants, a cost overrun of £68.2m and eventually a recommendation by the National Audit Office that the contract be renegotiated
Passport Agency: Problems with the launch of the contract with SBS caused meltdown in the Passport Agency in 1999. The software was incapable of dealing with the volume of work, resulting in a backlog of 565,000 passports and delays of up to 50 days in the processing of applications. The delays led to £12.6 million of extra costs to the Agency, only £2.45 million of which were paid for by the company
On and on it goes, read it here…
(Via Corporate Watch)