Film & TV

Jul 28, 2014

Glenn Dyer’s TV ratings: Nine games the system to boost ratings

The Nine Network followed Ten down the slippery route of jiggling its rating figures to boost the numbers for the latest series of The Block. Ten simulcasts Family Feud

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

Glenn Dyer

Crikey business and media commentator

The Nine Network followed Ten down the slippery route of jiggling its rating figures to boost the numbers for the latest series of The Block. Ten simulcasts Family Feud at 6pm Monday to Fridays on its main channel and its digital channels (ONE and Eleven) and aggregates the audience figures of the three channels into one figure, while not providing a breakdown of the audiences for each of the three channels. Nine last night simulcasted launch episode of The Block Glasshouse on Nine’s main channel and its digital channels Gem and GO without providing audience data for the three channels.That made it impossible to compare the audience figures for the new series with those of the previous episodes which were only broadcast on Nine’s main channel — but that little problem didn’t stop Nine’s spinners from trumpeting the success of last night’s debut series of the program. The Block is a notorious slow starter and builds its audience through the series. Thankfully last night was a one-off (unlike Ten with Family Feud) and The Block returns to just being broadcast on Nine’s main channel  from tonight.

In fact, I wouldn’t take many of last night’s figures seriously — with the exception of MasterChef Australia, even though Ten’s broadcasting of the Glasgow Games on ONE at the same time kept potential viewers away from the second-last episode of its recovering ratings giant. MasterChef Australia had 1.644 million national/ 1.261 million metro/ 383,000 regional viewers. The Block had 1.990 million national/ 1.374 million metro/ 616,000 regional viewers. The X Factor on Seven had 1.773 million national/ 1.113 million metro/ 660,000 regional viewers. Aggregating the three channels overstated the popularity of The Block in regional markets last night.

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