The Winners: MasterChef did the job for Ten. Ten won All People and won the demos, but that was always on the cards. But the audience was the lowest of the three series so far and the decision to split the lead-up and then the final round/winner upset viewers who stayed away in their millions around the country.

Based on more accurate figures, Ten said the winner announcement averaged 2.66 million viewers, not to be sneezed at, but a 35% shortfall on the metro figure last year is a big message from the audience. The performance in regional markets was even weaker. MasterChef has never had the same appeal in the regions as in the metro markets, especially in Sydney and Melbourne.

Ten split MasterChef into three ratings segments to try and boost the audience. It didn’t work.

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The Renovators had 1.269 million viewers with the help of the first part of MasterChef. It’s on its own at 7.30pm tonight: will it work?

  1. MasterChef Australia (winner announced) (Ten) (9.30pm) — 2.568 million
  2. MasterChef Australia (part 2) (Ten) (8.30pm) — 2.334 million
  3. The Block (winner announced) (Nine) (7.20pm) — 1.820 million
  4. MasterChef Australia (part 1) (Ten) (6.30pm) — 1.810 million
  5. Seven News (6pm) — 1.618 million
  6. Nine News (6pm)  — 1.515 million
  7. The Block (Nine) (6.30pm) — 1.433 million
  8. The Renovators (Ten) (7.30pm) — 1.296 million
  9. 60 Minutes (Nine) (7.30pm) — 1.203 million
  10. Sunday Night (Seven) (6.30pm) — 1.148 million
  11. Midsomer Murders (ABC) (8.30pm) — 1.106 million

The Losers: With the grand final of MasterChef last night there were no real losers.

News & CA: Nine News won Sydney easily, Seven News won the rest.

And in the morning, more disappointment for Ten with The Bolt Report losing more viewers, especially for the afternoon repeat. Insiders is now clearly top of the pops in the Sunday morning chats.

So should Ten management really proceed with moving the production of Meet The Press to Melbourne, as they are thinking? The collapse in audience for The Bolt Report is a test for Ten’s new news director, Dermot O’Brien. While the audience for both of The Bolt Reports fell again yesterday, Meet the Press picked up from 67,000 last Sunday to 79,000 yesterday.

  1. Seven News (6pm) — 1.618 million
  2. Nine News (6pm)  — 1.515 million
  3. 60 Minutes (Nine) (7.30pm) — 1.203 million
  4. Sunday Night (Seven) (6.30pm) — 1.148 million
  5. ABC News (7pm) — 661,000
  6. Ten Evening News (6pm) — 401,000
  7. Ten News (5pm) — 370,000
  8. SBS News (6.30pm) — 209,000
  9. Dateline (SBS) (8.30pm) — 117,000
  10. The Bolt Report (Ten) (4.30pm) — 89,000

In the morning:

  1. Weekend Sunrise (Seven) (8am) — 398,000
  2. Weekend Today (Nine) (7am) — 350,000
  3. Landline (ABC) (noon) — 222,000
  4. Insiders (ABC) (9am) — 202,000
  5. Inside Business (ABC) (10am) — 166,000
  6. Offsiders (ABC) (10.30am) — 132,000
  7. The Bolt Report (Ten) (10am) — 109,000
  8. Meet The Press (Ten) (10.30am) — 79,000

The Stats:

  • FTA: Ten (3 channels) won with a share of 33.6% from Nine (3) on 25.4%, Seven (3) was on 22.4%, the ABC (4) was on 14.9% and SBS (2) ended with 3.8%.
  • Main Channel: Ten won easily with 27.9%, from Nine on 19.1%, Seven was on 17.4%, ABC 1 was on 13.0% and SBS ONE, 3.4%.
  • Digital: GO won with 3.9% from Eleven with 3.0%, ONE was on 2.7%, 7TWO was on 2.6%, 7mate, 2.4%, along with Gem, with 2.4%. ABC 2 was on 1.0%, News 24, 0.5%, SBS TWO, 0.4% and ABC 3, 0.3%. That’s an FTA viewing share of 19.2%.
  • Pay TV: Ten (3 channels) won with 28.4% from Nine (3) on 21.5%, Seven (3) was on 18.9%), Pay TV (200 plus channels) was on 12.9%, the ABC (4) was on 12/6% and SBS (2) ended with 3.2%. The 15 FTA channels had a total viewing share last night of 87.1%. The 10 digital channels were on 16.2% in total, five main channels, 70.9%.
  • Regional: SC Ten (3 channels) won with a share of 27.4% from Prime/7Qld (3) back on 27.0%, with WIN/NBN (3) close up in third with 26.4%. The ABC (4) was on 14.8% and SBS (2) ended with 4.4%. Prime/7Qld and SC Ten won the main channels with 20.8% each, with WIN/NBN on 19.2%. GO won the digitals with 4.3%. 7TWO was on 3.2% and 7mate and Eleven on 3.0% each.

Major Markets: Ten everywhere with Nine mostly second and Seven there in Perth and in the main channels in Brisbane and Adelaide. GO won the digitals in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. It shared Perth with 7mate. 7TWO won Adelaide.

(All shares on the basis of combined overnight 6pm to midnight All People)

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Seven won the metro markets and the regions overall, the main channels and the digital channels.

Last night, MasterChef‘s figures were OK, but in fact a failure for Ten because it fell so far short of the standards and the audience reception for the first two series. The effort last night was as contrived as the rest of the series. There were flashes of originality, but they were few compared with the two previous years. The contestants were mostly bland or painfully young.

So, the MasterChef winner announcement (in the five metro markets) was 2.568 million. Last year it was 3.962 million. In 2009, 3.726 million. The performance of the rest of the program is hard to compare because of the splitting by Ten.

Last year the national audience was 5.213 million for the winner announcement (includes the regions), this year was 3.3 million, around 1.9 million less than last year and well short of the 2009 inaugural series. In regional areas the winner announcement averaged 738,000 against more than 1.2 million last year.

Last week’s final of Australia’s Got Talent on Seven beat the winner announcement of MasterChef with 2.855 million metro viewers and 1.006 million in the bush for more than 3.86 million people across the country. That makes MasterChef a flop in terms of what Ten had seen from viewers in 2009 and 2010 and what they had been expecting with the 2011 series. Advertisers and sponsors (product placers) won’t be pleased.

The Block is hard to get an accurate figure because it wasn’t split in regional markets like it was in the city. Around 542,000 people watched The Block as coded in the regions, 1.433 million in metro areas. So around 1.97 million all told, which is solid.

The message for all TV networks and producers, don’t fiddle too much with a winning format except to give it a fresh enough look to keep viewers interested and intrigued, and not drive them away, as Ten did with the decision to split the final. In cooking terms MasterChef‘s audience evaporated because it was over cooked all season and the final last night was sliced and diced when it should have cooked slowly, whole for three hours.

Tonight: The ABC’s hours of news and current affairs. Nine has The Block. Ten has The Renovators and Can of Worms at 8.30pm — which is a far more interesting program now it is settling down. Seven debuts Body of Proof, a much hyped US crime show. The final series of one US crime show that has worked, starts on Ten at 9.30pm, Law and Order Criminal Intent, with two old stars back for the swansong.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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