MediaWorks' 2012 ratings star The Block has returned with strong first up audience numbers.
Now screening three nights a week instead of two, the first three hour-long episodes drew an average five-years-plus audience of 411,800, a ten percent increase on the average audience of the first three episodes of the 2012 series.
The first episode of the new season attracted an average audience of 412,400 viewers aged five-plus, ten percent more than the launch episode last year. It also rated well in key demographics, nabbing a 33 percent share of the 25-54 year old group and a 35 percent share in the main household shoppers with children demographic.
Nielsen figures show the average audience across 20 episodes of The Block last year was 422,900 for people aged five plus, across TV3 and TV3 plus one, including time shifted viewing between day one and seven of transmission.
Its average audience share for the first episode of this season for people aged five plus who watched live or time shifted on the day was ten percent, compared with nearly 13 percent each for TV1's Dog Squad and Life Flight, seven and a half percent for TV2's The Middle and five point three percent for Suburgatory.
Spokesperson Rachel Lorimer says there was a lot anticipation around the return of the series. She says like X Factor, it's a 'second screen' show that people view alongside social media on mobile devices.
"Part of the fun is watching it with friends and family but people really enjoy being online. We saw that with X Factor."
The Block's website has had nearly 100,000 page views since the Monday night launch. The show also has a Facebook page and a Twitter account and there is exclusive content on TV3 website.
The show's foundation sponsors Bunnings Warehouse, Kiwi Bank, Mazda and Wild Bean are all back on board.
MediaWorks was awarded last night at the New Zealand Marketing Awards for its launches of the series last year, for its campaign How TV3 Turned New Zealand into Block-a-holics.
The Block began in Australia and is produced in several other countries.