Film & TV

Jan 29, 2014

Glenn Dyer’s TV ratings: The Block flops

The Nine Network has backed a very expensive turkey, with the new season of The Block failing to attract an audience.

Glenn Dyer — <em>Crikey</em> business and media commentator

Glenn Dyer

Crikey business and media commentator

The Nine Network is in trouble  with its very expensive first 2014 edition of The Block — it was flattened by Seven’s My Kitchen Rules which had more than 600,000 extra viewers nationally and over 450,000 in metro markets.If this continues, the popularity of one of Nine’s rating staples will be in doubt. The whacking last night was significant because this series Nine has tried to get into the competition as quickly as possible rather than spend time establishing this year’s storyline and the contestants (which had led to a slow start to the season, with audiences slow to build). That has failed in the face of nicely done episodes of My Kitchen Rules with the goodies and baddies appearing very early on.

As well, Nine’s  experiment with placing A Current Affair at 7pm has failed for a second night as Home and Away again ate it. And it was a full Today Tonight (not some news and 20 minutes of Today Tonight as on Monday night) that clearly beat Nine’s second half of the news from 6.30pm. All this was not supposed to happen, if you listened or read the TV season forecasts (nicely fed by Nine’s PRs and management) earlier this month. If it hadn’t been for the new episode of The Big Bang Theory (which out rated The Block) and the repeat of the same program (which also had more viewers than The Block), Nine would have been even more embarrassed, just as the movie repeat, The Blindside, saved it from a bigger loss to Seven. Now to have a repeat of a popular US comedy beat The Block is embarrassing — even more so when you look at the cost per episode — $1 million or more for The Block, a few thousand, maybe 10 grand for Big Bang (its big expense came last year in its original broadcast on Nine). The only encouraging thing for Nine was that The Block held all but around 20,000 of its national audience last night from Monday. My Kitchen Rules slipped 77,000, but when that’s from nearly 2.4 million, it doesn’t matter. The Block made no impression whatsoever on My Kitchen Rules.

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