Ratings hell for Seven

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Chan­nel 7 is un­der pres­sure. Af­ter a strong start to the ratings year thanks to My Kitchen Rules and bet­ter-than-ex­pected House Rules fig­ures mid-year, the net­work has stum­bled.

Hell’s Kitchen Aus­tralia is a dud. The Marco Pierre White-hosted cook­ing show (below) was third in its times­lot with a mere 544,000 view­ers across the five cap­i­tal cities on Sun­day night. Com­pare that to the 1.285 mil­lion for The Block. Aus­tralian Survivor av­er­aged 622,000.

The poor re­sult for Hell’s Kitchen Aus­tralia comes on the heels of dis­mal ratings for game show Be­have Your­self, hosted by Dar­ren McMullen.

This is the sec­ond year in a row that Seven has struck trou­ble come Au­gust. In 2016, Seven un­leashed a string of flops in­clud­ing Zumbo’s Just Desserts and The X Fac­tor af­ter the Olympics.

“This por­tion of the ratings year is vi­tal, as it pre­cedes the an­nual ne­go­ti­a­tions with me­dia agen­cies,” me­dia an­a­lyst Steve Allen says.

Seven chiefs would point out that the net­work has won 21 ratings weeks so far this year to Nine’s three. True, but last week Seven got across the line be­cause of its dig­i­tal chan­nels. The gap is nar­row­ing.

That is be­cause Nine has been on a surge. It scored mas­sive fig­ures for Mar­ried at First Sight. The fi­nale of the dat­ing show av­er­aged 1.496 mil­lion view­ers.

The Voice put in an­other solid sea­son. And Aus­tralian Ninja Warrior did even bet­ter. Nine’s sports game show launched to 1.68 mil­lion view­ers and fin­ished on 2.145 mil­lion. It was a cer­ti­fied phe­nom­e­non.

/ COLIN VICKERY

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