In property mad New Zealand, The Block NZ was paying pretty low odds to be a ratings winner—and, due to all the opportunities for sponsor integration into the show—some of it comically gratuitous—a commercial winner as well. And while MediaWorks is remaining coy about the ad and partnership revenue the show has brought in, the first season did as expected and drew plenty of Kiwi eyeballs, with last night's final, which saw siblings Ben and Libby Crawford walk away with a tidy $237,000 profit, gaining an average 5+ audience of 491,600, up from 389,000 in the first episode.
The total cume 5+ for the final (those who tuned in to the show at some stage) was 1,065,300, but publicist Rachel Lorimer says it's all about the key demographics and she says The Block NZ certainlydelivered on that front, with the final gaining a 35.2 share in the 25-54 category and a 34.3 percent share in the HHS with kids 0-14 (surely Gov. Bollard will be asking for the show to be axed, because, judging by the surprising number of screaming kids, it's helping to create a new generation of rabid Kiwi property fiends).
In the 25-54 demo, the final gained an audience of 267,900, up from 232,200 in the first episode. But, interestingly, the numbers peaked during Wednesday night's two-hour episode with 268,000, although Lorimer says that's within the margin of error.
|Target||25-54||HHS wk 0-14||05+|
|Date\Variable||AUD||AUD %||SHR %||AUD||AUD %||SHR %||AUD||AUD %||SHR %|
The Block NZ is the only MediaWorks show to make it into the top 20 shows of 2012 in the 25-54 demographic, with Naughty Shorty: 20 years of bloopers on top. But it did just edge out MasterChef, which as a point of comparison, had an average 590,000 Kiwis aged five-plus watching every week in season three.
Top 20 shows of 2012 in 25-54 (average ratings across a series):
Naughty Shorty 20y of Bloopers
The Big Bang Theory
Two and a Half Men
My Kitchen Rules
2 Broke Girls
Neighbours At War
The Block NZ
MasterChef New Zealand
The Blind Side
Police Ten 7
Mrs. Brown's Boys
Last Chance Dogs
The Food Truck
Of course, it wasn't all good news on the night. The crowd favourites Rachel and Tyson came away empty-handed after their house only just made it to the reserve, but the wheels are already in motion to sort them out with a reward for their entertaining efforts.
Speaking of reserves, Lorimer says MediaWorks doesn't make any money out of the sale of the houses. The reserves, which she says couldn't be seen at the auction, were under market value so they would be attractive for buyers, but high enough so that the network could cover some of the production osts of what is a very expensive show.
As for the winning siblings—Libby a senior designer at a Christchurch advertising agency and Ben the marketing manager for youth at Tourism New Zealand—they've decided to put their new-found fame to good use by starting their own graphic design, marketing and branding business.
And while the winning $157,000 above reserve sounds impressive, the winners of this year's Aussie version sold their house for $506,000 above its reserve price.