TEN programmer Beverley McGarvey has previously said, “Australians have fallen in love with Family Feud, making it the most-watched game show on commercial television.”
But while Hot Seat and Million Dollar Minute may arguably be deemed quiz shows -and technically not game shows- Nine head of programming Andrew Backwell suggests the show’s ratings, derived from a simulcast on TEN, ELEVEN and ONE, are nothing to get excited about.
“I don’t really talk down our opposition but if you look at Family Feud the interesting thing is it does half the numbers that Seven and Nine do in the slot. Nine does 1m to 1.2m with the News nationally. Family Feud does 500,000 – 550,000 across three channels,” he told TV Tonight.
“So this is touted as one of the biggest hits on Channel TEN? It does half of what Channel Nine does in the slot and it’s across three channels.
“If you look at the share in the slot, you wouldn’t be touting it as a big success.”
TEN maintains Family Feud has given the network its biggest audience in the 6pm to 6.30pm weekdays timeslot in more than five years. But Backwell points to increased costs involved too.
“Personally I think they’re getting a bit ahead of themselves on the success of the show. In the slot (compared to) what they had there previously, obviously they have grown their audience there, but it’s a local production so they have grown their cost-base in that slot compared to what they had there previously. So your cost base goes up and your audience goes up a small amount,” he says.
“I think it’s done OK but I think people have gotten ahead of themselves about its huge success.
“If everything on Channel TEN is half of Channel Nine I’m more than happy.”
TEN’s Beverley McGarvey says the show is working and has no plans to end its simulcast roadblocking, despite calls for multichannels to offer alternative content.
“It works and it would be crazy for us to on-pick something that works. We have a very robust schedule on ELEVEN and ONE, we offer a lot of first-run content and a lot of Australian content,” she told TV Tonight.
“People engage with Family Feud and it works as a triple test. It’s half an hour a day and we have no plans in the short term to make any changes there.”
This week Nine also premiered The Block on both Nine and GEM to 860,000 viewers.
Family Feud begins on Sunday nights from 6pm this weekend.