Two of the country's biggest TV shows came to their seasons' end over the long weekend, with the fourth seasons of MasterChef NZ and My Kitchen Rules (MKR) continuing to bring in the viewers for TVNZ despite competition from MediaWorks' big show X Factor NZ.
While MasterChef had a slight dip in its average series ratings in comparison to last year (average share remained the same at 31 percent, however) and a significant drop of around 150,000 viewers to 533,000 for this year's final episode (all 5+), MKR on TV2 grew on all fronts and the Aussie series actually topped the final of MasterChef NZ with a total of 567,000 (all 5+).
Head of TV One and TV2 Jeff Latch says he's very pleased with the results and says both shows were well ahead of The X Factor (according to Throng, the MediaWorks show posted 319,000 on Sunday and 363,980 on Monday). He says Sunday nights were a case of each show taking a bit off the other's audience. But Mondays were a different story and he says the hour-long Shortland St. episodes followed by MKR, which targets a slightly younger demographic than MasterChef, had "a massive negative impact" on the X Factor's audience and forced it to shift its slot back by half an hour around two or three weeks ago. And there's nothing a TV network likes more than forcing the opposition to change its programming.
"I think that's what's probably been most pleasing," he says. "We thought [MKR] would do big numbers, as it's given us big numbers in the past, but we didn't expect it would grow given it was up against X Factor."
Commercially, Latch says MasterChef NZ is still a very compelling proposition, because such cooking shows give sponsors so many opportunities to integrate themselves into the show (as do DIY shows). Most of the sponsors returned from previous seasons, with Fisher & Paykel, Lion Nathan, Stevens, Skoda, Campbell’s Real Stock, SunRice, Arano and Countdown on the list (Countdown gave up its position as overarching sponsor to become grocery sponsor, and Frucor's Arano was new to the family).
Latch says TVNZ is looking forward to forthcoming seasons of both shows.
- This story originally said it was the third season of My Kitchen Rules.