MasterChef = “51m US viewers”

swMasterChef‘s record ratings on Sunday has even been reported by US media.

Showbiz bible Variety said:
Sunday’s two-hour finale of “MasterChef Australia” nabbed an average 3.7 million viewers, peaking at 4.11 million in the last 20 minutes, giving third-ranked web Network Ten the biggest aud for a non-sports program since OzTam ratings began in 2001.

The previous record was held by Ten’s “Australian Idol” finale in 2004, which nabbed 3.3 million viewers.

It added that: Produced by FremantleMedia, “Masterchef Australia” varies from its U.K. counterpart in a number of ways, including higher stakes such as a big cash prize and a chance for the winner to publish a cookbook.

It was also reported by several Australian writers for Bloomberg, California Chronicle, and by the UK’s BroadcastNow

Meanwhile over on TVByTheNumbers they attempted to translate the Aussie figures into an equivalent American number, which is a tad silly, but makes for good reading:
Australia has a population of ~ 22 million vs. the US population of ~ 307 million. Multiply that 3.7 million average viewers by 307/22 and that’s on par with a US show receiving an audience of 51.6 million. Yow.

Source: Variety, TVByTheNumbers


  1. I’ve never seen 1 episode of Masterchef as I live in regional WA and WIN Television did not show it. I am amazed at the popularity of the show – every news website I’ve visited and radio or TV talk show is talking about it. I really wish I could have seen it. Although WIN has woken up and it now showing it at 1pm, but that is not a great time! It may as well be 3am!! I hope they put the new season on prime time next time.

  2. A good rough rule of thumb is to multiply the 5 city audience by 1.5
    That gives you a pretty close estimate for what national ratings would be.
    That puts Masterchef Finale in the 5.5 million range!

    Like others, I have never understood why our ratings are not national.

    The Northern NSW, Queensland, Victoria and Southern NSW markets all have the 5 networks.

    Tasmania and Darwin also have 5 networks now (although a little different with Ten being carried on digital only there – so not really an even comparison till 2013 when analouge is turned off)

  3. i cant wait to see what next seasons opening night ratings are!! there has been so much talk about this its amazing and i would imagine as the next season comes along people will be talking about it way before it starts!

  4. ‘Web Network Ten”?

    Someone needs to publish an English-Variety translation dictionary or class them up, My Fair Lady style.

  5. Now Digital TV is almost completely de rigeur, shouldn’t it be easy to track accurate viewing figures?

    I remember an April Fool’s joke on a local radio station as a kid where the DJ explained (intentionally inserted) static into the broadcast and explained:

    “We’ve got the highest number of people ever listenning to our show right now which is putting a strain on the transmitter – get your friends to tune in to see if we can break the thing!!!”

    I ran around the house switching every bloody radio on possible.

  6. While Mastercehf in regional areas has not rated as well as the cities (as far as percentage audience shares go), the inclusion of regional figures take the finale ratings over 5 million, with a peak over 5.5 million.

  7. I don’t understand why the don’t do some creative maths to estimate the total number of people watching, including “regional” and Tassie/Canberra/Newcasle etc.

    It certainly makes the shows see more popular than they are, so they networks would love that.

    Ratings are all a big fap off guesting game as it is anyway.

  8. With regionals and Tasmania factored in, the Masterchef finale would have been well over 5 million viewers. Most of the media neglected to mention this during the ensuing coverage over the last few days.

  9. The equivalent would actually be higher than 51M, as the 3.7M average was based on Metro only, and the US population figure is based on the whole country.
    Add in regional Australia to the calculation and then see what you get…closer to 70M!!!

  10. Yknow as extreme as TVByTheNumbers sounds, shows in the US do pull that kind of number from time to time – though if they wanted an accurate comparison they’d have to go 3.7m x 307/14 (14 million being the population of the 5 cities + Geelong, Mandurah, Gold and Central Coasts – ie Everyone in the OZTam viewing area)

    That calc comes to 81.1 million! That’s getting up to Superbowl figures 🙂

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