How The Block won the 2016 ratings war

Angus Kidman 10 November 2016 NEWS

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An average of 980,326 Australians watch each episode.

So on Sunday night, The Block 2016 will reach its climax. The finder.com.au team of Blocksperts encourage you to join our live recap on the night while you're watching. You shouldn't need much encouragement, as the ratings data suggests this will definitely be the most-watched show on free to air TV.

The Block has been a consistent ratings success across the season, which is more than you can say for some of Channel Nine's other attempts this year. The chart below shows the ratings for every episode up to this week (we won't know those properly for a few days since Nine fast-tracked them because of the cricket finishing early, which messes up OzTAM's tracking.) Hover over any dot to see the ratings for that day.

These are the combined overnight ratings for Australia's 5 biggest capital cities. Catch-up viewing over the next seven days typically adds between 50,000 and 80,000 more viewers - nothing to sneeze at, but not a number that really changes the ratings picture. Like most reality TV, The Block is designed to be watched live, even if it is all carefully filmed and edited months in advance.

Block viewing follows a clear pattern: Sunday night room reveals always rate the highest, followed by a drop-off during the duller mid-week episodes. There's been a slight increase over the season, but on the whole the figures are fairly consistent.

The Block in-depth

Quite often, The Block is the #1 show on the night. That's tougher on a weeknight, when the top 4 positions are generally taken by the 6pm news bulletins on Seven and Nine, and then by their follow-up shows. But in the modern TV environment, consistently getting near a million every single time is a massive deal. The only other shows that can be trusted to deliver that kind of performance are Masterchef on Ten and My Kitchen Rules on Seven.

The reality is that free-to-air is slowly dying as a mass market medium. For dramas and movies, streaming looks like the way of the future. And while free-to-air broadcasters are trying to make streaming easier with dedicated apps, live viewers for reality TV look like their meal ticket for the next few years.

For the data freaks, here are the individual five-city ratings and positions for every episode up to last week. See you on Sunday!

Recap Ratings Position
Episode 1 1,075,000 1
Episode 2 962,000 7
Episode 3 945,000 5
Episode 4 1,150,000 4
Episode 5 928,000 5
Episode 6 796,000 9
Episode 7 791,000 10
Episode 8 1,070,000 2
Episode 9 905,000 5
Episode 10 849,000 6
Episode 11 789,000 10
Episode 12 1,099,000 3
Episode 13 920,000 5
Episode 14 959,000 7
Episode 15 847,000 6
Episode 16 1,212,000 1
Episode 17 1,019,000 2
Episode 18 1,014,000 4
Episode 19 819,000 8
Episode 20 1,166,000 2
Episode 21 890,000 7
Episode 22 933,000 5
Episode 23 817,000 5
Episode 24 1,069,000 5
Episode 25 931,000 5
Episode 26 902,000 3
Episode 27 828,000 5
Episode 28 1,156,000 2
Episode 29 1,008,000 10
Episode 30 953,000 3
Episode 31 906,000 4
Episode 32 1,279,000 1
Episode 33 1,027,000 3
Episode 34 1,045,000 3
Episode 35 1,032,000 3
Episode 36 1,190,000 1
Episode 37 946,000 1
Episode 38 911,000 6
Episode 39 910,000 5
Episode 40 1,175,000 1
Episode 41 918,000 3
Episode 42 980,000 6
Episode 43 1,033,000 2

Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears Monday through Friday on finder.com.au.

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Picture: Channel 9

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