TV Ratings Feb 25: MAFS delivers Nine’s first win of survey year

Mediaweek editor James Manning looks at last night’s TV ratings.

• Nine wins first night of survey year – primary, combined – as Married takes flight
• Seven share drops, loses first night, with Spartan revealed as no Ninja… yet
• TEN’s Sunday share lifts, no celebrity leaves the camp, just David Oldfield

Seven

The Viking Sisters were the first competitors on the first episode of Australian Spartan and they came undone on just the second obstacle – the swinging donut (also referred to as a tyre swing). It was a big night for hosts Edwina Bartholomew and Hamish McLachlan who steered Seven from 7pm until past midnight with coverage from the Spartan course before they hosted much of the final night of the Winter Olympics from South Korea. It was 30 minutes before a Spartan team, Two And A Half Men, made it to the end of the Spartan course. Before the episode ended, another four teams managed to complete the circuit. The first episode of Spartan did 816,000 with close to 250,000 watching in both Sydney and Melbourne.

The show is no Australian Ninja Warrior yet, with the first episode almost exactly half of the 1.67m watching Ninja’s debut on Nine last year.

The closing ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics followed with plenty of colour on a clear night and the music including traditional Korean through to to a lengthy heavy metal guitar solo. With the ceremony not starting until 10pm eastern though, 580,000 viewers had to sit through Games highlights first and then 528,000 stayed for the ceremony.

Nine

The channel was calling Sunday the biggest night of the year thanks to a hyped-more-than-normal episode of Married At First Sight with a commitment ceremony and much more. But the series is certainly living up to any hype and last night the audience was a format record 1.53m after 1.35m a week ago, which made it week 8’s most-watched program. Guess what will be #1 for week 9?

60 Minutes then featured Tara Brown catching a con man, Charles Wooley visiting NZ PM Jacinda Ardern while Liam Bartlett was with Robbie Williams. After 796,000 a week ago, 60 Minutes did 846,000 last night.

TEN

Steve Price arrived in the jungle on I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! and started his Jungle Radio program – first guest was Danny Green. Price is reportedly only doing a few interviews before heading back to his Macquarie Media nightly radio show. The audience spoke in two ways last night – both parts of the Sunday episode were up week-on-week and then viewers chose not to send any of the celebrities home, but disruptor David Oldfield was let go at the first opportunity after his arrival six days ago.

A new episode of NCIS then did 388,000 (296,000 a week ago) followed by SEAL Team on 189,000.

ABC

A new FTA series of Grand Designs started at 7.40pm with 615,000.

The well-reviewed Riot followed with its look at the 70s gay and lesbian rights movement. The Sunday drama did 207,000 across its 100+ minutes. That was well down on what UK dramas pull on Sundays – Shetland did over 500,000 a week ago.

SBS

Episode 4 of Eight Days That Made Rome did 175,000 at 7.30pm.

The 8.30pm doco Easter Island: The Truth Revealed then saw the audience lift to 236,000.

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