The Janet Jackson-Justin Timberlake peep show during last Sunday's Super Bowl halftime performance drew a huge response of outrage and indignation. But while many were complaining, many more were seeking it out, again and again, via TV replay and the Internet.
According to digital video recording service TiVo, that moment of the halftime broadcast was the most recorded and replayed moment it has seen since it began measuring the activity of its 1 million users in 2002.
Internet search engine Lycos said Jackson "received 60 times as many searches as the Paris Hilton sex tape and 80 times as many searches as Britney Spears," and in fact may have generated more online searches than even the Sept. 11 attacks.
Google.com also reported a spike in Jackson queries via its service, estimating that there were 10 times the number of searches for her name Monday than the day before.
Just how many of these seekers were spurred on by disgust and how many by prurient interest is not something that can be measured, at least so far. Scott Sutherland, spokesman for California-based TiVo, could not offer a comparison of other peak moments for the service, though he said a Top TiVo Moments of 2004 is in the works for December.
Meanwhile, while the Jackson-Timberlake tape continues to be played over and over on TV (albeit with discreet fuzzing out of Jackson's exposed breast), those who didn't tape or record the moment themselves will be out of luck if they hope to see it again by purchasing a recording of the game.
Reportedly, the momentous "wardrobe malfunction" will not appear on Warner Home Video's official DVD of Super Bowl XXXVIII.