A presence on iTunes has driven NBC show 'The Office' to its highest-ever ratings, the company confirmed this week.

TV Week writes that the broadcaster credits the show's popularity as an iPod download for the success.

NBC making a connection between podcast success and broadcast ratings success is significant because it's the first evidence that new video platforms are additive because they "provide more entry points into a show for consumers", the report explains.

Offering shows through iTunes is attracting new viewers who may not otherwise have tuned in, Frederick Huntsberry, president of NBCU Television Distribution said: "Consumers have choices, and we are not reaching all consumers with one technology," he said.

ABC has also seen ratings rise since reaching its deal to offer 'Desperate Housewives' and other shows through Apple's service.

Far from destroying audience figures, online distribution is boosting them - and consumers like to watch good television shows more than once, executives say.