Leading media analyst Steve Allen has supported Seven’s broadcast of My Kitchen Rules during Sunday’s prime time spot, Rather than the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony.
While Seven has vehemently denied it broadcast MKR instead of the Commonwealth Games, Allen said the choice was nonetheless strategic.
Speaking to the ABC, Allen said, “It was kind of a commercial imperative from the way we see what they were doing strategically.”
He added, “Nine really bested them from the start of the year — first in February with Married at First Sight — and it depressed the ratings of My Kitchen Rules (MKR).
“Nine was launching on the Sunday night with The Voice, regardless of what Seven was doing.”
“That was slotted in some time ago, so whether they put the athletes walk in, or whether they put MKR on, Seven had to think carefully about their strategy and their ratings prospects.”
Speaking on the likelihood Seven knew about the athlete’s closing walk in the ceremony, Allen said the programming schedule would have been “locked in” weeks before.
“Business-wise, commercially wise, yes I think it was — from the point of view that 98 per cent of the Commonwealth Games had been covered and covered pretty damn well in my view,” he said.
“It was a stumble at the end and disappointing. But they have got MKR for the next four weeks from memory on air. They really had to get it back up to ratings.”
“Indeed on that evening, it rated better than it had been all the way through since February.”
Overall, Allen agreed with the strategy, which for him, was centred on reviving the ratings of MKR which had had its programming affected from the games.
“I think that is some of the choice they made. They said ‘right, we know we are going to have a strong lead-in in ratings from the Gold Medal Group two-hour special at 4:00pm.”
“It will lead into our news, we will have a strong news, we have had that all the way through the Commonwealth Games. We will lead straight out of that into MKR, we will revive the ratings of MKR’,” he told ABC.
The Commonwealth Games’ closing ceremony was universally panned for not focusing on the athletes, being full of tedious politicians’ speeches, while the entertainment has been likened to a bad Australian Idol reunion more akin to “Carols In The Domain”.
Interestingly, it was the official broadcaster, Channel Seven, that’s led the chorus of criticism.