Herald Sun - Switched On - - ON THE BOX - / COLIN VICK­ERY

Mar­ried at First Sight has been a god­send for Chan­nel 9. Fig­ures show that the ex­panded ver­sion of the re­al­ity ro­mance pro­gram has helped boost the net­work’s rat­ings share com­pared to the same time last year.

Now the net­work is hop­ing that The Voice will con­tinue the mo­men­tum in its three-way bat­tle with Seven’s House Rules and Ten’s MasterChef Aus­tralia.

Mar­ried at First Sight con­sis­tently av­er­aged more than 1.2 mil­lion view­ers across the five cap­i­tal cities beat­ing Seven’s My Kitchen Rules on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions.

That is a mas­sive turn­around after last year’s dis­as­trous start when Aus­tralia’s Got Tal­ent and Ren­o­va­tion Rum­ble failed to make a dent against the op­po­si­tion.

“Mar­ried at First Sight has put Nine in a much stronger po­si­tion com­pared to last year,” me­dia an­a­lyst Steve Allen says.

“It has de­liv­ered on what they promised. Seven had a strat­egy of launch­ing My Kitchen Rules off the back of the Aus­tralian Open ten­nis and Nine had to find a way to take view­ers away and they did.”

Now it is up to The Voice, which launches April 24, to rate strongly and give Nine a boost through midyear. The net­work has spent big to se­cure Boy Ge­orge and Kelly Row­land as men­tors along­side Delta Goodrem and Seal.

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