‘The Office’ to stream free on NBC.com

While no official announcement has been made yet, I have been told that Season 4 episodes of The Office will stream free on NBC.com, starting September 27th!

Episodes will be viewable online after they air on the West Coast, with limited commercial interruption. (Similar to what they do now with Friday Night Lights.)

Here’s a screenshot, courtesy of NBC.com. Looks pretty good, no?

123 comments

  1. Sorry this won’t make up for the Itunes thing with me. I bought a video Ipod specfically to watch the shows. THIS does not help me. So I still say BOO you NBC.

  2. I live in the U.S. so I’m happy about this, but I have a feeling that our Canadian friends won’t be able to enjoy this feature.

  3. I’m still pissed at NBC.

    Streaming is ok, but I want to DOWNLOAD the show on my MacBook (can’t do with Amazon). You still haven’t solved my problem, NBC. Keep trying.

  4. The video quality on NBC.com is crap. This makes up for nothing. There is a huge difference between streaming low quality video and being able to download decent quality video.

    Unless they stream quality equal to if not better then iTunes, I’ll pass.

  5. Fabulous news! I don’t have a DVR so at least this will be a safety net for me to be able to see episodes (or parts of episodes) that I have missed!

    Or, to watch them over and over again. lol

  6. Boo!!! Who wants to watch a video on their computer in crappy resolution? Bring back iTunes support, or I’ll have to start calling you “National Broadcasting Crap”, regardless of the fact that you have my 4 favorite shows! (Office, 30 Rock, Scrubs & Heroes.) :-)

  7. I think that is even better than what they did with iTunes since more people would take the time to watch for free with limited interruption then pay $1.99. It does stink for those that like to keep their episodes handy on an iPod, but great for everyone else that doesn’t have it.

  8. #8.. Assuming its like most other stations websites, your right. But also consider that TV episodes aren’t available in the Canadian iTunes store either, so this is still an upgrade (we can at least watch them now, if we go to the trouble of using a proxy site or whatever)

  9. Hell yes. About freakin’ time. The best part is that they’re available AFTER the West Coast airing, so I can watch it ASAP any time if I miss an episode.

  10. I agree, this is good, but the iTunes lost still sucks. And NBC streaming video isn’t the best either. I still love ABC’s video streaming the best. At least people can still view the episode after it airs though, so it’s some what of a start.

  11. I think this is great news! Thank you so much for the advance info, tanster! I’ve always preferred watching TV on my computer, and the wait till the next morning for the episode to come out on iTunes is unbearable, to say the least. I still hope that NBC Universal and Apple can work out a deal, because I think “The Office” and the iTunes/iPod platform complement each other so well. However, having the opportunity to view the episode from NBC.com is just terrific!

  12. Awesome! Since I never download episodes of any of my favorite TV shows from iTunes, but I frequently watch the ones available on network websites…I’m definitely seeing this as a plus.

  13. The fact here is control, you don’t get control over The Office in this scheme. You don’t get to keep the episode to view whenever you want. They decide what episodes will be available when.

  14. Bet it won’t work in the UK! Never mind us fans who haven’t even had season 3 over here and still can’t get region 2 dvds.. *sigh* We only created the whole concept in the first place..!

  15. AWESOME! Never miss an episode, BUT sometimes i yearn to re-watch an episode during the week…this’ll give me that option! Itll probably work like ABC where they have 4 episodes up…the most recent episodes aired.

  16. Yay! Although I would prefer to be able to watch it on my apple and ipod with itunes, this is a definite improvement!

  17. I sit at a PC all friggin’ day long. Even though I loves-a mah iPod-a, I am satisfied with this. It’s free too folks. Free! My DVR recorded versions are free as well.

  18. I still see this as a loss — NBC.com’s streams are sketchy quality at best, and the fact that they’re free doesn’t make up for the fact that I have to sit at my computer to watch them. It’s lousy compensation.

  19. I would rather have iTunes. I like to watch them while I am lying in bed, or traveling, or whereever I want! I just like having my favorite ones with me. Why Why Why

  20. Hmmm…I am torn. I feel bad for the Brits, Canadians, and ex-pats who will must likely be screwed by this. iTunes is pretty great and the mobility of having the show on an iPod is cool, but I’m down with having it on my laptop and watching the NBC stream at Starbucks or wherever. Huh. NBC is kind of screwing this up.

  21. I had a look at the quality of the Friday Night Lights episodes, and I think they’re up to snuff with what ABC is doing. At least it makes me feel a bit better about the iTunes.

  22. I agree with everyone who said NBC’s streaming quality is pretty crappy, especially compared to, say, ABC’s, which often looks HD its so beautiful and clear. that being said, this sort. of. makes up for the iTunes thing for me. Except I’d still love to have the shows on my computer and iPod without having to be connected to the net.

  23. I would still like to OWN it and I hate watching “limited commercial interuptions.” Totally takes me out of the show. TiVo has ruined regular TV viewing for me. =P

  24. I’m feeling much better about watching Season Four after this announcement. It’s not perfect, but it’s still better than nothing.

  25. oh thank god! I was worried I would have to hook up my vcr!
    I don’t have cable or a dvr, the only show I really watch on t.v. anymore is the office. Last season I just bought the episodes I missed (and the ones I wanted to re-watch) on Itunes to watch on my mac, which has a way bigger screen than my t.v. anyway!

  26. thank god! i got dvr because of the problem with itunes, but now i can watch it work. NBC, you have been forgiven.

  27. Sweeeeeeet! I was worried about living in a college dorm (without my own personal tv) and fighting for the remote on Thursday nights.

  28. coool!! i love nbc! but still i want the office on my ipod. so whenever im bored i could just bust out my ipod and start cracking up.

  29. Watching deleted scenes this way is okay, but just okay. I’m perfectly happy to pay $2 to watch a high quality download. This is certainly better than nothing but I won’t say I’m particularly happy either.

  30. FINALLY!!!

    What a relief for a broke college girl, with no money for a TiVo, or any other fancy recording device.

  31. Dana!!! You don’t need expensive fancy stuff to record stuff!!! All you need is your computer, a simple program and the internet!!!! Ask any A/V geek who knows how to record TV broadcasts on their PC………

  32. This is perfect! I can catch up with the shows on my lunch break at work. Perfect for the girl that has no cable but needs her Office fix!

  33. Call me crazy, but I think this is excellent and in my opinion better than having it on iTunes. I don’t own an iPod, so maybe I don’t completely understand, but I did used to download the episodes from iTunes last season. My point was to be able to watch the episodes almost immediately after they aired rather than waiting for a re-run or the DVD. Now that will be available to me for free. (And I never thought the NBC.com quality was that bad. This isn’t the same type of streaming video as the deleted scenes, which I will admit are pretty low quality.)

    And I think this kind of makes a little more sense as far as NBC is concerned. One, it may generate more interest in people watching the re-runs. Two, it may lead to more ‘casual viewers’ buying the DVDs. We can still own our copies of The Office, we just have to wait until it’s out on DVD. Just requires some patience, that’s all. And having the episodes on-line will help to keep that appetite wet.

  34. This is excellent. Even though you can’t download it for free, it will definitely help viewers who may have to miss an episode or help other people catch onto the show. Last year, I started watching Friday Night Lights online at NBC.com after it had been on for a couple of months already and then fell in love with it and started watching “live.” It’s my favorite show now, next to The Office of course!

  35. well it’s great news for non us watchers. I’ve just got to start looking for a friendly proxy, like for cbs or abc…

  36. Hey, I’ll take it over Unbox or whatever stupid program they’re switching to that I can’t use! Honestly, I like this better. Saves me some money.

  37. I’m guessing the episodes will be posted for a limited time–maybe for the week until the next episode airs, and then taken down. I think that’s what happens with a lot of other popular shows, so that they don’t dilute their audience too much. People will still make the effort to see it within a certain time frame.

  38. I like the move, but might this hurt NBC’s rating since people will just watch other shows like Greys or Supernatural on that timeslot knowing they can just always catch The Office on the web?

  39. I just watched 30 Rock on nbc.com and it looked great. it looks like they upgraded it to a higher resolution, which is awesome. hehe

  40. Sorry, this is a stupid question, but does that mean can you only watch them on the west coast of the states or they’ll be put online after the show airs on the west coast?

  41. I was freaking out because I thought I wasn’t going to get to see the show at all this season since I have class on Thursday night, and they aren’t selling them on iTunes anymore. This is a relief.

  42. This is great, now I can load more Lost onto my iPod Touch 16 G and watch the Office online…unless it freezes.

  43. NBC, I will get so distracted and it will ruin the entire experience if I see bright shit on the sides. I want it to be like a movie theater where the entire page is dark except for the video. Lots of people hate when make their eyes hurt with distractions on the side while they’re trying to watch a video. Fine, we’ll take your loud “I’m your venus, I’m your fire, your desire.” commercials over and over and over and over and over and over and over again without anything fresh or that appeals to us.

  44. Still don’t understand their iTunes decision, though. Instead of allowing us to pay them money, they’re going to let us watch them for free. Works for me!

  45. I’m comment #76 … I just clicked on the Friday Night Lights link and it said that “We’re sorry, this clip is not available from your location.” Is that a good sign that Office will not be available here as well?

  46. Oh wow, that screenshot looks terrific! I hope there’s a “super-duper extra large” under that size option :) Really looking forward to watching the episodes online!

  47. Thank goodness! I watch all my ABC shows this way. Still kind of stinks that you can’t actually get a copy of the files (especially with The Office, since the online/iTunes version was sometimes different than both the aired one and the DVD one), but I’m really glad this’ll be offered.

  48. I would be really surprised if they keep the whole season up there all at once. Sure, Friday Night Lights is all up there because they’re trying everything they can to keep it on the air. I don’t think The Office needs any help.

    ABC only keeps the last couple episodes posted. I really am afraid that’s what NBC’ll do. Which sucks.

    I also still wish I could download to my MAC and watch them any time.

  49. I think they usually keep all the episodes up there for the entire season, that’s what Friday Night Lights is like (the whole season is up there, as well as 30 Rock).
    This actually works out for me because I bought the episodes on itunes and got the DVD’S so this way at least I don’t have to pay for it twice. Emmers, it just means that it won’t be posted to watch online until it has aired on the West Coast, it will be available nation-wide. Also you can make the video full-screen so it actually can be bigger than the screen-shot.

  50. No iTunes, no sale NBC. I hate commercials like the plague. No online viewing for me. Who wants to sit at their computer screen and watch TV?

  51. This decision gives NBC more control over the content. You don’t get to purchase a copy that you keep forever (until you purchase the season’s DVD at a higher price) – you can only watch the episodes online as long as they feel like leaving them up.

    Also, I’m sure there will be very irritating advertisements (banner ads and ads inside the episodes) added to this website that you have to muddle through before you get to watch the show.

    I’m not exactly sure that getting it for free is worth it. But, we’ll see. At least NBC is moving in the right direction, and could perhaps despite their greed, stumble into giving viewers something they actually want.

  52. I used to watch 30 Rock on there a lot, and I have to say it worked quite well. There are short little ads that are a little annoying, but they aren’t as long as the commercial breaks are during the TV broadcast. There is normally 1 commercial, and they vary from 15 to 30 seconds.

    Overall, I like this better than paying 2 bucks for the ability to watch it on a tiny 3 inch screen. Then again, i’ve never understood how people can stand watching videos on their iPods to begin with.

  53. I just got done watching an episode of Late Night with Conan O’ Brian and it looked really good. If The Office looks anything like this then none of us should be dissapointed. Also the there are only like 5 thirty second commercials total to put up with so it’s not too bad.

  54. Am I too obsessed that I looked at that shot and immediately thought, “Oh, that’s right before he gets up to join Pam in throwing Andy’s cell phone into the ceiling.”

  55. I always record every episode but there was at least one instance last season that my DVD recorder didn’t work and I missed an episode. I bought it off iTunes even though I don’t have an iPod, but this is good news that NBC’s streaming episodes for free in case I ever have to miss one this season. Plus it’ll be easier to sneak in a viewing on my laptop during work hours! ;)

  56. For ppl in Canada, it may be on the Global website. no source for that, but its a possibility. No way NBC will let ppl outside Canada see it due to TV regulations. Its also how they get DVD sales outside USA.

  57. Thank god! I was worried about what I would do if I missed an episode since I don’t have my tivo at college. problem solved!

  58. Screenshots are different then actual video.
    It looks good but I’ll wait to judge until its up and running.
    Still doesn’t replace having the actual file on my pc that I can play on my pc or mac.

  59. 93- Does Global stream shows now? I’m gonna go check. I know that last year CBS was streaming CSI, and a friend of mine was furious that not only could she not access it on their website, but CTV wasn’t streaming it on theirs. Let’s hope that Global’s better about these things.

  60. Jesse – people don’t just download off of iTunes to watch on their iPODS – they do it to watch on their COMPUTER. And keep it FOREVER. And, say, on long plane rides or car trips, watch whenever they want. Type deal.. I am okay with it being free on NBC.com (one comercial 15-30 seconds people, its NOT that big of a deal) but if its anything like ABC, they won’t have all the episodes at once.

    And it was nice to be able to watch the episodes without having an internet connection, which it being on a website obviously does not do.

  61. Thanks for all the info! NBC seems like they are really trying to make the effort here by making the quality of picture a lot better than it is now.

  62. I don’t understand why some people say they love the show, but won’t watch it even if it’s free on a computer. I really don’t care how I get to see it, as long as I don’t miss the funny!

    Most people sit all day at a computer anyway, who cares about another 20 mins!

  63. Yeah some of you are hitting the nail on the head, this is way more about freedom to watch The Office by getting to own the episodes we want right away at a pace no DVD release could match, since we are getting them as the season goes on. Well not anymore. NBC will only be providing random Office eps that they want to hype for that particular week. And iTunes eps had multiple avenues, they could go to TV on the little talked about Apple TV and to the TV with the iPod AV cable, as well as ya know watching it on the computer or iPod. NBC is plain greedy and wants too much control over how we get to see their stuff. All this does is drive everyone even more so back to piracy.

  64. NBC had the entire season of Heroes all the way to the end of the summer.

    I’m sure they won’t limit the Office to whatever random episodes they’re promoting that week.

  65. The only reason that screenshot looks good to me is because it features my future husband. It still makes me cry inside that I won’t be able to watch it.

  66. That screenshot is from The Return last season, right before he stands up and Pam drops the phone into his hand.

  67. will this be available outside the US?

    just found out today that the R2 Season Two DVD has been put back once again, this time to January 28th :-O

  68. Well, as someone is not an iFan, this makes me happy! I hope it is going to be like the other NBC shows that are veiwable online– i.e. not just random episodes.

  69. From the article I read, it sounds as if only the 2007 season is going to be free and then in 2008 they are going to transition into a subscription/rental program. I’d rather buy it off itunes then stream it and something tells me NBC is going to raise their price above 1.99 trying to get all the money they can out of Heroes and The Office.

    I really liked being able to watch it on my computer, ipod, or TV. Streaming is really lame, especially when you HAVE to watch the same ad 50 times.

  70. Re:Ziggy
    I don’t know if anyone is still reading this topic or not? I telephoned Global and received a very friendly call back. Unfortunately, as we suspected, there are no plans to show The Office episodes on Global’s site for the current year.

  71. For all people concerned about NBC streaming the Office.

    In October, NBC will start offering downloads as well. You will be able to download last weeks show for 7 days after it airs, with built in commercials- for free.

  72. So, wait, how am I not able to view tonight’s episode online? I thought they were supposed to start today . . .
    And I can’t find anything anywhere about this whole file downloading thing, except that it’s been mentioned in their press release.
    Lame.

  73. Have any Canadians figured out a way to watch episodes online? NBC’s website tells me that the episodes are not available in my area, and I am sad.

  74. we just moved to spain… is there anyway that we can view the new season? the nbc website won’t let us from outside of the u.s.!

  75. To all those international fans, try http://www.hulu.com. They stream the same five episodes of the current season that NBC.com does. If this only works in the US, Hulu also has a feature on MyspaceTV. Try that.

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