Nine’s Australian Ninja Warrior has proven a spectacular success for the network after it debuted last night to 1.68 million viewers according to OzTam figures.
The result makes the show the most-watched non-sport event of 2017. It also severely dinted last night’s viewer numbers for Seven’s House Rules and Ten’s MasterChef.
Nine may well be ruing its decision for such a short series of Australian Ninja Warrior that was filmed back in January. The family-skewed show will run three nights a week (Sunday, Monday and Tuesday evenings) and only has a short three-week run.
Read B&T’s Australian Ninja Warrior interview with Nine’s head of content, Adrian Swift, here.
Commenting on last night’s debut, Michael Stephenson chief sales officer, at Nine, said: “We have said that 2017 was going to be a year of taking risks. With Australian Ninja Warrior we introduced a brand new show to Australian audiences and they clearly loved it.
“Sunday’s night’s audience numbers surpassed all expectations and Ninja Warrior demonstrates the tremendous power of free-to-air television to bring millions of Australians together in a shared experience.”
The success of Ninja catapulted Nine into a commanding win for Sunday night viewer share. Nine snared 35.9 per cent of the audience, followed by Seven with 29.2 per cents, Ten snared 13.6 per cent, ABC 13.1 per cent and SBS managed 8.2 per cent.
And as Ninja was Nine’s gain it appeared to be Ten’s pain with viewers deserting MasterChef in the process. The cooking show only managing 625,000 viewers last night.
Seven’s news was its best performer managing 1.3 million viewers. The House Rules finale had 1.14 million and the rather dire Yummy Mummies still managed 755,000 for Seven.
Over at the ABC, its 7pm news bulletin was down with 697,000 viewers, Grand Designs NZ had 495,000, Poldark managed 433,000, and Death in Paradise pulled in 314,000.
The Tour de France was the pick for the SBS, managing 248,000 cycling fans.