MediaWorks comes out on top as The Block beats MKR NZ

Cantabrians Brooke Thompson and Mitch Davies took out the latest edition of the Block NZ Villa Wars selling their renovated property for $1,350,000 netting them a windfall of $290,000 but the big winners for The Block NZ Villa Wars were MediaWorks, which returned very high rating numbers for the Sunday evening finale.

The culmination of the reality renovation show where each couple’s property was put to auction to see who could maximise their financial return was watched, at least in part, by 846,000 viewers. This was down slightly on the 849,500 who watched last season’s finale won by Alex and Corban Walls who secured total winnings of $307,000.  

While the show didn’t prove to be everyone’s cup of tea (that’s putting things mildly), it was the top rating show in most demographics including the key demographic of 25-54 year-olds, 36 percent of whom tuned in last night.

Average audiences for the show were up 26 percent from 386,400 in the 2014 final to 486,500 last night (overnight ratings).

Ladles and drills have been going head to head in a reality ratings battle this year as The Block has been scheduled against TVNZ’s My Kitchen Rules on Monday nights with the renovation show winning the early ratings contests.

The average audience (in the 25-54 demographic) of The Block over the first four episodes had dropped from its peak of 244,500 in season two to 120,000 in Nielsen ratings so a robust final figure must have pleased MediaWorks.

As StopPress noted, back in October, however, there was a significant increase in the number of 3Now streams from the previous season, which were up 88 percent for the first episode and 146 percent before episode two was aired according to MediaWorks data. 

The latest data shows online platforms of The Block consumption were pretty strong overall with weekly online viewing averaging over 62,000 long form streams over the course of the season. Average viewing for short form streams was over 11,000 weekly, with live streams averaging over 1,600 views per week.

Meanwhile according to figures released by TVNZ, My Kitchen Rules New Zealand lags behind the renovation reality show with an average of 290,000 viewers in the all encompassing AP 5+ and 132,000 in the key 18-49 year-old demographic.

A spokeswoman for TVNZ, however, sounded an optimistic note about the cooking show’s performance against The Block including in the increasingly important non-linear platform.

“It has also performed well on TVNZ OnDemand and is doing a good job of being a challenger in the marketplace, especially as it’s running a two-night format against a show with a four-night format.”

She added that the state broadcaster is hoping MKR can serve up some even bigger numbers as the competition heats up with chefs now entering semi-finals with only two weeks remaining on the cooking schedule.

But multi-night reality shows aren’t only about audience numbers. In the age of product integration, corporate sponsorship deals also play an integral role in determining whether or not these shows will continue to appear on Kiwi screens. 

With the latest season of The Block now wrapped up, MediaWorks will again turn its attention to signing new deals with Kiwi brands eager to bask in the glow of competitive DIY.    

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