Millions of Australians tuned into the silver screen last night as some of the most popular reality shows returned for the new year.
In a massive shake-up to how ratings are reported, with a new OzTAM model launching on Monday, the TV ratings firm now prioritises total viewership across all cities – including streaming numbers – as opposed to linear numbers across the five metro cities.
The new way of distributing the data will have TV networks cheering today, with the revamped report painting a more accurate picture of how shows fared among audiences.
Nine’s season debut of Married At First Sightdominated in the ratings war between Seven’s Australian Idol and Ten’s Survivor on Monday night, pulling a staggering 1.252 million viewers across ‘Total TV National Audience’ rankings, which is measured by the amount of individuals watching divided by the duration of the program.
While Idol came second to MAFS, it was still an impressive premiere for a show that struggled in ratings last year – pulling in a total TV audience of 787,000.
Survivor trailed behind its competitors, with a total audience of 572,000.
In the new ratings report, there’s also the option to determine ‘Total TV National Reach’, which shows data from viewers who watched at least one minute of a program, or 15 seconds online.
In this ranking, MAFS had a 2.451 million total reach, while Idol had 1.784 million and Survivor 1.126 million.
MAFS has, for several years now, been a ratings bonanza for the Nine Network.
In 2022, it recorded a national average audience of 1.9 million viewers per episode, while last year’s finale drew in 1.066 million metro viewers.
And judging by the experts – John Aiken, Mel Schilling and Alessandra Rampolla – this season is set to yet again form part of the national conversation.
“I think what really stands out to me this year …” Aiken told Nine.
“There’s this very raw Confessions Week which brings out some secrets and some revelations we’ve never heard on Married At First Sight before.”
Schilling added, “As a viewer, you’re going to have so much more to sink your teeth into.”