Will MasterChef reverse Channel Ten’s ratings woes?  Noodlies, Sydney food blog ponders the $64m question…


Ten’s ratings performance has been the “worst in recent memory” according to Michael Idato, Sydney Morning Herald’s senor media writer leading to the resignation of the network’s head of programming and industry veteran, David Mott.  Duds last year included I Will Survive, Don’t Tell the Bride – even fast tracked US dramas have had little impact.  That’s a shame because during Mott’s 16 year stint at Ten he has had a fair share of hits too, MasterChef, Biggest Loser, and Australian Idol included.

Ratings figures for MasterChef: The Professionals are regularly updated at the bottom of this post.

However, even the MasterChef juggernaut is starting to look tired, ratings for the 2012 fourth season slowly but surely headed south, with several shows dipping below the 1m mark; an informal industry measure if a program has been a hit.  Matt Moran’s departure to head a new cooking show for Seven didn’t help either.

Materchef the professionals

MasterChef The Professionals is a hit format imported from overseas and Ten badly needs it to work.  Uber celebrity chef, Marco Pierre White, joins perennial judge Matt Preston to mentor and judge a new breed for chefs.  The new format and MPW certainly has had endorsement from the critics, with David Knox, from TV Tonight declaring “It’s just what the network needs to reheat its own brand, returning to core values… Sit down and wet your lips. This one deserves to be tasted”.

Ratings for MasterChef The Professionals

Sun, 20 Jan: The show launched. It’s a mixed result.  The show pulled in over 1.165m viewers in the metro 5 capital cities, so it’s over the 1m mark.  However this is the lowest audience number for a launch of MasterChef in Australia, down 15% on 2012 (1.368m).  It was the third most popular show last night only beaten by Seven and Nine news (ratings stalwarts).

“We are pleased with how MasterChef: The Professionals performed last night, it is off to a good start.” a Network Ten spokesperson told news.com.au.

Noodlies, Sydney food blog thinks the jury is still out, for the record these are my views as at Monday, 21 Jan around 11am.

However, most media are calling the launch a success for Ten:

  • Mumbrella – “MasterChef: The Professionals delivers strong first night”
  • B&T – MasterChef: “The Professionals serves Ten a ratings boost”
  • News.com.au: “Ten had hoped MasterChef would provide an alternative to rival Nine and Seven’s sport coverage – and the strategy worked”
  • SMH.com.au: “MasterChef makes a professional hit

Mon, 21 Jan: Rated above the magic million (1.019) shedding almost 150k viewers against the previous night’s launch.  MasterChef: The Professionals ranked 5th for the night behind Seven and Nine News, Today Tonight and narrowly beaten by Tennis on Seven (1.034m).

Tue, 22 Jan: Stayed above one million viewers (1.020m) and was 4th for the night, comprehensively beating Tennis on Seven (0.971m).

Sun, 27 Jan: The Men’s finals between Djokovic and Murray (2.180m) swept all aside including MasterChef (0.718m) falling to 10th place for the night.

Mon, 28 Jan: My Kitchen Rules launch was the 3rd most popular show of the night (1.384m) relegates MasterChef to 10th, it drops under magic million again (0.892m).

Tue, 29 Jan: My Kitchen Rules builds on launch (1.647m) and tops the night, MasterChef fared badly falling to 10th place (0.729m) which is 37% lower than the Sunday  launch ep.

Sun, 3 Feb: The folks at MasterChef breathing a sigh of relief, with The Professionals the fifth show for the night and above 1m (1.124m).

Mon, 4 Feb: My Kitchen Rules crushes all before it (2.23m) the highest rating program for 2013 so far (even beating the recent Tennis finals). Debut of The Block All Stars disappointed rating below the magic 1 million-viewer mark.  MasterChef: The Professionals completely sunk (0.627m) dropping to 19th place.  Noodlies, Sydney food blog questioned the success of MasterChef when it launched to a 1.165m, while other media hailed it a success (see above).