MasterChef wins ratings battle, more food porn to follow

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  • May 5, 2014
  • Damien Venuto
MasterChef wins ratings battle, more food porn to follow

As the curtains were drawn on the fifth season of MasterChef NZ, the TVNZ team could tap each other on the back for once again dominating the ratings for the duration of the hit show.

This accomplishment will taste even sweeter given that it came in year when MediaWorks attempted take over the food porn throne with its bold—and at first confusing—The Great Food Race.

Throughout the course of its first season, TV3’s ambitious project averaged only 142,106 viewers (among audience members age five and over), and even fans of the show now concede that a second season is unlikely.

Comparatively, MasterChef’s average viewership over the course of this season has averaged at 495,800 among viewers aged five and older. And while these overall numbers are good, they are significantly below the viewership numbers posted last year, when the show averaged 549,300 viewers per episode.  

Last night, during the grand final, which was won by sisters Kasey and Karena Bird, the show's hold over TV3 continued, as MasterChef dwarfed the ratings posted by Kevin's Grand Design and The Blacklist (MasterChef posted 629,600 to Kevin's Grand Design's 204,100 and The Blacklist's 254,000).  

However, it hasn’t only been good news for MasterChef, with the show tallying its second-worst average audience rating for a finale since its inception.

In commenting on dip in ratings from the earlier seasons, TVNZ’s newly appointed general manager of programming John Kelly conceded that there might be a case on fan fatigue.

“The show’s ratings are in line with our expectations. The format is in its fifth season, so we can’t expect it to reach 21 percent ratings that we had in the second season. Those numbers were huge.”

It is also significant that MasterChef was one of the ten most-streamed shows on TVNZ over the course of February, indicating that at least some of the show’s viewers might have migrated online.   

While ratings have dipped over the course of its five-year tenure, MasterChef did enjoy a marked year-on-year increase from last year’s 546,700 to this year’s 629,600 in terms of those who watched the final.

“We are delighted with these figures,” says Kelly. “Creatively, it was a nice change to the format by introducing the couples, and the ratings were also helped by the multi-night screenings [on Sunday and Monday night] during this season.”

The food-shaped lacuna left in Monday night screening will from tonight be filled on TV2 by the Australian version of My Kitchen Rules, which is currently in its fifth season.

This will however just serve as a precursor to the New Zealand version of the show, which is set to air on TVOne later this year and will be judged by Auckland chefs Ben Bayly and Gareth Stewart.

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