Married at First Sight slams Australian Spartan debut

Ratings: Seven show struggles as Married pulls out its biggest ever audience. ABC telemovie fails to pull a crowd.

Married at First Sight has smashed Seven’s debut for Australian Spartan, almost doubling it in size.

MAFS pulled out a whopping 1.54m viewers -its biggest audience ever- over Australian Spartan‘s debut of 816,000. It was a convincing win over a show some were describing as a “clone” on social media.

Married won the slot in all 5 cities, and topped the demos.

I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here pulled 707,000 for the elimination of David Oldfield and 607,000 for the bulk of the show -both numbers up on last Sunday.

Meanwhile ABC’s Riot telemovie failed to pull a crowd at just 207,000 viewers. That’s despite trending at #1 on Twitter with rave reviews.

The Winter Olympics closed with 528,000 for the Closing Ceremony and 580,000 for its earlier Countdown.

Nine won with 35.9% then Seven 29.8%, TEN 15.4%, ABC 12.8% and SBS 6.2%.

Married at First Sight was #1 for Nine with 1.54m viewers then Nine News (1.09m), 60 Minutes (846,000) and Born to Kill? (427,000).

Seven News was best for Seven with 1.02m viewers followed by Australian Spartan (816,000), Winter Olympics (580,000 / 528,000).

I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here (707,000 / 607,000) led for TEN then The Sunday Project (404,000 / 296,000), NCIS (388,000), TEN Eyewitness News (348,000), Family Feud (233,000) and SEAL Team (189,000).

ABC News (714,000) was best for ABC then Grand Designs (615,000). Riot was just 207,000.

On SBS it was Easter Island: The Truth Revealed (236,000), Eight Days That Made Rome (175,000) and SBS World News (149,000).

7TWO’s Border Security topped multichannels at 183,000.

OzTAM Overnights: Sunday 26 February 2018.

39 Responses

  1. I really enjoyed Spartan, whereas I couldn’t watch Ninja Warrior because of the shouty hosts. I did, however, somehow have the expectation that it occurred outdoors, so I was a little disappointed to see another set-up stage.
    I don’t think it’s success can be judged on one week, so it will be interesting to see next week.

    MAFS is purely symptomatic of the degradation of real relationships in Australian society, and Riot only appealed to a niche market. Not surprised that IACGMOOH had a little lift with bringing Jungle Radio back.

  2. Great concept, but terrible execution by Seven. What it should of been was that it consists of races between 2 or 3 teams (like the American version), not like a clone of Ninja Warrior.

  3. One of the better eps of Celeb this year and Jungle radio again was great but with they showed more of them or at least 1 more person. I hope soon they put the celebs through their worst fears!

  4. I’ll probably keep watching it but Spartan could have been so much better. Presenters were vacuous, saying little of relevance and the usual generic commentating. Don’t know why they went with the one team at a time format, most international versions I’ve seen have at least two teams running a course at the same time, it makes it much more interesting because if one team is spending ages on an obstacle there’s something else to cut too. I found watching one team at a time slow and boring. And don’t get me started on having an ad break after pretty much every single team!

  5. I think this shows just what is wrong with fta television in Australia these days.Reality junk like MAFS gets 1.5 million viewers,and a first class,fact based movie like Riot gets a paltry 200,000 viewers.Sad,really.

    1. Yes, very sad.
      Riot was excellent and all the cast were brilliant – deserved far better ratings but up against some established ratings juggernauts.
      Disappointing that so many of these excellent local telemovies screened on SBS and ABC have been largely ignored by the majority of viewers. Deep Water was another similar genre that sadly failed to register with most viewers.

      1. Riot has a terrible name. It tells you nothing about the show, why would you click on it? It also doesn’t follow any familiar naming tropes i.e. Riot: The True Story Of Australian Mardi Gras (that’d work better).

    2. Yep it is a shame, then again if I was one of the lucky ones with a ratings box I’d probably be adding to the low ratings as I’ll be watching Riot on iView tonight like I do most ABC shows these days.

  6. Had no plans to watch Spartan, but ended up watching it at a mates place. It’s the first new Australian reality\competition show I’ve enjoyed in a long time. There was minimal back(sob) stories about the contestants, no fights, no contrived bitchiness, minimal input by the hosts, and no waste of time interviews with the contestants after their win\lose, even the replays were minimal. I also like how they edit down the completed obstacles so we don’t see every single team compete from the same point. I was shocked at how well Seven managed to produce this show. So much so, I may even come back next week, although it would be on the PVR so I can avoid those commercials.

  7. The flip side of taking risks is it can always slap you in the face. Spartan is the sacrificial lamb that has given MAFS it’s best number yet. Well done Seven! Apparently Seven had the chance to take on Ninja Warrior before it went to Nine.

    1. Sasuke started in Japan 20 years ago and has been distributed internationally in 25m episodes as Ninja Warrior. SBS has shown it for a long time, as well as the American and Swedish versions. Anyone could have bought the rights to the format and made an Australian version, Nine did. So Seven bought the rights to the Spartan format. Seven have to run it now, before Ninja Warrior and so they could launch it on back the Winter @l^mp!cs. It didn’t work well. The trashy soap opera that is MAFS has overtaken MKR (which had weak casting his season) and is unstoppable at the moment.

      1. I watched Celeb to see a bit of Jungle radio, to see the butler covered in snakes and reciting shakespeare, to see Jackie and Simone. The Oldfield bloke was just an irrelevant, inevitable sideline

  8. As soon as they announced they were bringing Spartan forward, you could tell that Seven were in panic mode. MKR on a downward spiral, Olympics coming to a close and with not much else left on the shelf. It has backfired big time, time to put MKR back up against MAFS and find a new time slot for Spartan.

  9. Not very impressed with the French Easter Island doco-the previous long form doco that’s been shown a couple of times was better, gave a more detailed look at what happened to the people of Rapa Nui and the island after European contact as well as the rise of the ‘Birdman Cult’ and the effects of no palm trees=no large boats or logs for handling the statues.

  10. I happily watched a whole episode of the US Spartan team challenge show on YouTube to see what it was like… got about 20 minutes into Aus Spartan before putting in a DVD.

    Fun format, it’s a pity Seven didn’t actually implement it.

  11. I’m very surprised that Spartan didn’t do well. I thought it would be on par with MAFS, but not the huge hit Ninja Warrior was. Was the lure of MAFS was too great, or was there fatigue with physical competition given 2 weeks of the Winter Olympics (which was trending downwards in its second week)? It is hard to escape the “Team Ninja Warrior” tag, no matter how much Seven want to point out format differences.

  12. So the show about teamwork and overcoming adversity got ‘smashed’ by the show that is getting best ever numbers with nasty and scandalous storylines. Great.
    I hope Spartan grows, it’s a well made show and is nothing but positive.

  13. Spartan had zero appeal for me. Riot was yet another example of ABC narrow casting, very important for some but a big switch off for many. I like Celeb, the characters are entertaining. Married ..not on our radar.

  14. Seven would be a bit devastated with the Spartan launch you would think. Viewers aren’t stupid (mostly) and can smell rip-offs a mile away though.
    That is a pretty dire result for Riot as well. It will be interesting to see what uptake is like on iView.

  15. Seven made the right choice delaying Little Big Shots so it never premiered opposite Ninja Warrior. Why the hell would they ignore that successful strategy and put Spartan up against Married, which was clearly building as the season progressed? Talk about rocks in the head

    1. Ryan, everyone’s a programmer. Anyone can see that Spartan had a polar opposite audience profile to Cheaters at First Sight, so in 7’s mind it was strong IMO… It’s more that Spartan just wasn’t up to scratch in terms of production I would say. It really lacked something that Ninja had.. was it the weird silence that wasn’t tension, but lack of crowd? Or the bad bad hostings from all three but particularly Wendell.. or just the slow plodding pace of the awful obstacles? Anyone else miss the frog jump obstacle 1 in Ninja?

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