MKR a dying format. Last night was the winner announcement of My Kitchen Rules, and while it delivered 2 million metro viewers for Seven and easily won the night, it had 500,000 fewer viewers than last year’s winner announcement.

It’s not the first time this year that the MKR juggernaut has under-delivered for Seven. The franchise is weakening. Over the 13 weeks it aired it had fewer viewers than in 2014, an analysis by Fusion Strategy released this morning has found. At the worst, it had 25% fewer viewers for the comparable part of the season in 2014. Though the franchise clawed back viewers towards week six, it tumbled back to earth during the Easter break. It had between 1.3 million and  1.4 million metro viewers most nights of the week — last year, averages of 1.5 million to 1.6 million were far more common.

The gradual turn-off is most clearly seen in the finale. MKR’s grand final (the lead-up to the winner announcement) had 2.946 million national viewers. That was slightly more than the winner announcement itself (never a good look for a reality program), which had 2.937 million national viewers. When the core audience can’t be bothered hanging around for the announcement of the winners, you know the audience is going off the format.

The 2014 figures were themselves well short of the peak figures in 2013 of 4.514 million national viewers for the winner announcement. The grand final in 2013 had 3.131 million national viewers. Comparing the winner announcement figures this year with 2013’s peak shows a fall in the size of the audience of a third, or more than 1.5 million people.

The ratings tell us the format is now a shadow of its incredible self back in 2013. In fact such has been the loss of viewers in the past couple of years (a third or around 1.5 million nationally) that we can now see the end to the program, unless Seven revives it somehow — or at best a gentle decline, like was the case with Ten’s MasterChef.– Glenn Dyer and Myriam Robin

Move over BuzzFeed, News Corp is after your clicks. So the media company revealed at its upfront in New York, unveiling a quietly launched website it’s dubbed the Internet Action Force. Mumbrella’s got more detail on the launch, but your correspondent’s eye was drawn to a photo of a document distributed at the upfront. It describes the Internet Action Force as:

“… the code name for the world’s first rapid-response team of highly trained, socially awkward digital nerds. Its mission is to produce videos about what people are talking about, find the best of the web’s weirdest and spark original conversations.”

The sins of marketers in misrepresenting a product are legion, so we’ll try not to go too hard on News Corp. It’s possible the new website is actually staffed by digital natives who get that viral news is actually hard to do well, instead of just those the company considers “socially awkward digital nerds”.

But it’s worth noting BuzzFeed would never describe its reporters as such, but rather as fast-moving professionals with as much creativity, nuance and social skills as any traditional reporter. As it should. The whole “hur hur technological types are all nerds” trope is best left in the schoolyard.

Of course, News Corp has a history of launching hyped digital products that fail to deliver. We can’t possibly imagine why … — Myriam Robin

Gawking at the working class is good for ratings. So you think Struggle Street, due to air on SBS tomorrow night, is new and original? Think again. Early indications suggest it’s remarkably similar to a Channel 4 series called Benefits Street, which aired in Britain early last year to great controversy in 2014.

Here is a Wikipedia summation of the content of Benefits Street:

“Narrated by Tony Hirst, the series is presented in a fly on the wall documentary format that follows a year in the lives of the residents of James Turner Street, a road in the Winson Green area of Birmingham which Channel 4 describes as ‘one of Britain’s most benefit-dependent streets’.”

SBS sent producer KEO Films Australia to spend six months at Mount Druitt in western Sydney — Benefits Street spent a year (a bigger budget from Channel 4?). But the five episodes of Benefits Street were among the most watched for Channel 4 in 2014 — averaging between 4 million and just over 5 million viewers. “Benefits Porn”, to use a phrase coined to criticise Benefits Street, works in terms of TV ratings.

Will SBS take a look for six months at Wolseley Road, Point Piper, in Sydney, one of the city’s richest and most exclusive addresses? That might be a bit too close to where Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull lives. He might get on the phone to SBS boss Michael Ebeid to complain, or tweet his displeasure. — Glenn Dyer

Video of the day. The Milifandom is weird …

Front page of the day. The Daily Telegraph sets its sights on SBS as Blacktown Council garbage trucks threaten to blockade SBS’ Sydney head office …

Peter Fray

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