After five successful seasons, TVNZ has decided to pull the plug on MasterChef NZ to focus on other multi-night formats, including new drama Filthy Rich and new DIY porn Our First Home. And while TVNZ basks in the soapy ratings sunlight of Home & Away and Shortland St, MediaWorks is looking to follow suit and is asking for submissions for its own multi-night soap.
Over 2.6 million New Zealanders tuned in to watch series three of MasterChef New Zealand, with an average 590,000 Kiwis aged five-plus watching every week making for a nine percent increase on season two and a 14 percent increase on season one. And the producers have had to clear up some confusion when a bit of social media Chinese whispering took hold after some unmentioned goings on in the final came to viewers’ attention.
MediaWorks has been in the news a bit recently, with the unexpected departure of its TV wunderkind Jason Paris and continuing discussion about the sizable debts of its owner Ironbridge. But it’s not all bad: its two-channel strategy appears to be paying off in terms of share, ad revenue is up and general manager of integration Melanie Reece says the “sleeping giant” of branded content and product placement is starting to wake up, as evidenced by the success of New Zealand’s Next Top Model and the inclusion of new sponsors like 2degrees into the show.
It’s a funny old world. While tens of thousands of New Zealanders got overly excited about KFC’s Double Down late last week (if you want a real heart stopper of a meal, check this one out), over half a million Kiwis also tuned in to see two amateur cooks creating the exact opposite of that for the final of MasterChef. We’ve already talked about how much of a commercial juggernaut the show is for TVNZ and its owners, both because of its heavy commercial slant during the show and the ad dollars able to be raked in during the breaks, and with improved ratings numbers on the first season, that looks set to continue
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