Married At First Sight rewrites TV ratings record books

‘Married at First Sight has become the national obsession, emerging as a cross-platform juggernaut.’

The Nine Network has detailed some of the ratings records the network has set off the back of Married At First Sight:

Married at First Sight has delivered Nine its best start in several years, dominating the key 7.30pm timeslot and posting significant audience growth across both television and digital.

Across the network share, Married at First Sight (MAFS) has given Nine its best ever start to the ratings year among 16-39s and grocery buyers, while among 25-54s it is the best start to the year since 2004. Among Total People it is the best start to the year for the network since 2010.

“This season Married at First Sight has become the national obsession, emerging as a cross-platform juggernaut that owned the conversation,” said Hamish Turner, Nine’s Program Director.

Mediaweek meets The Programmers – Nine’s Hamish Turner

“On linear we’ve seen significant growth in raw numbers year-on-year across all the key demos and even higher multiples in the digital space. We saw increased engagement across every platform driven by the truly great content.”

The Married at First Sight finale drew a national audience of 2.401 million (5 City: 1.753 million / Regional: 648,000), while across the season overnight viewing increased from 1.07 million in 2017 to 1.22 million in 2018 (up 14%) and broadcast video on-demand (BVOD) on 9Now increased from 138,000 in 2017 to 238,000 in 2018 (up 73%).

Hamish Turner

Across the key demographics, Married at First Sight has delivered significant double-digit growth across people aged 25-54, 16-39s and grocery buyer with Child.

In terms of a total cross platform average (across consolidated 28, encore and VPM) audience for Married at First Sight had more than 2.389m people tuning in to every episode.

Married at First Sight is now the dominant player among the ratings year launch formats,” said Turner. “It has led the national conversation and seen off all challengers, in the process delivering fantastic audience growth for Nine.”

Commenting on Nine’s performance across the key demographics, Michael Stephenson, Nine’s chief sales officer, said: “Married at First Sight has always been one of the most demographically pure shows on Australian television. Now not only is it continuing to deliver growth in the audiences that matter to advertisers (25-54s, 16-39s and grocery buyers), it is also driving phenomenal digital growth on the back of record-breaking OzTAM VPM figures.”

Comparing its pre-Easter performance in 2018 with 2017, Nine has posted clear growth across all the key demographics in both its primary channel share and network share.

Stephenson noted: “At Nine’s 2018 Upfronts in October, we promised another year of strong and consistent audiences across all the key demographics that matter to advertisers, and once again Married at First Sight has ensured we started the year on the right note.”

The MAFS finale

Turner said the 2018 season of Married at First Sight has set a new benchmark for success in broadcast video on demand. “With 27 different MAFS episodes delivering over 200,000 and some even reaching the 300,000-average viewer mark there has been a fundamental shift in viewing habits this year,” he said.

“Audience’s engagement on our BVOD platform 9Now is at an all-time high and will only continue to grow.”

On Nielsen’s Social Content Ratings Married at First Sight has seen the highest All Series social media activity of any major television program in 2018 with 1.8 million interactions across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

“A year ago we were thrilled when a show on 9Now passed the 100,000-viewer mark,” said Turner. “As Married at First Sight became must-watch viewing we saw Australians rush to the platform to catch up on the drama and controversies surrounding the dinner parties and commitment ceremonies, with some of these episodes pulling 300,000-plus and completely dominating the social sphere.”

MAFS’s Davina and Dean

Nine has also seen tremendous results cross-platform, with leading women’s website 9Honey reporting significant growth in Married-related content, the most-read stories including the participants’ celebrity transformations and the Dean and Davina cheating scandal.

9Honey’s new TV show, Talking Married, also delivered exceptionally strong audiences on 9Life. The finale episode last night broke the record for a program on the multichannel pulling in an overnight audience of 441,000 (5 City: 342,000 / Regional: 99,000). Overall the program drew total average audiences of 200,000 (across consolidated, encore, VPM) to make it among the most watched shows in the multichannel’s history.

Talking Married was an experiment conceived between Nine’s programming and lifestyle divisions,” said Helen McCabe, Nine’s director of digital content.

“Without a doubt 9Honey has led the coverage surrounding Married at First Sight with numerous exclusives and interviews with the experiment’s participants. This has helped to drive a very strong 9Honey audience result with more than 1.786 million Australians logging on in February.

“But more broadly, Talking Married has highlighted our ability to take the 9Honey brand onto the television screen and build a strong and consistent audience who want behind-the-scenes exclusives, commentary and highlights.”

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