Under Investigation with Liz Hayes
Under Investigation with Liz Hayes (image - Nine)

Opinion | Married at First Sight not the only key to Nine’s success

There is no doubt that Married at First Sight (MAFS) is pivotal to Nine’s success – it regularly draws 1.8 million+ Total TV viewers and absolutely destroys everything in its path, including Seven’s Australian Idol and 10’s Australian Survivor.

MAFS is showing outstanding results in all major demographics and its dominance is felt across the entire schedule, giving the network easy weekly wins.

However, to shine a spotlight only on MAFS would be underestimating the Nine brand and schedule.

Nine News continues to be a strong brand for the network and whilst finishing second behind Seven nationally, Nine often see saws with Seven in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Ally Langdon’s debut as host of A Current Affair has the show often winning its slot and rating close to or over 1 million viewers in Total TV.

Nine would arguably win each night with MAFS, regardless of what show proceeds it, but Nine has invested in local productions to fill the post MAFS slot. 60 Minutes airs on Sundays, Big Miracles on Mondays, The Hundred with Andy Lee on Tuesdays and Under Investigation with Liz Hayes on Wednesdays. Even on other non MAFS nights, Nine has RBT on Thursdays, For the Love of Pets on Fridays and Space Invaders on Saturdays,

Even though the cost per hour of these shows may be more than their competitors, the positive numbers for these Australian productions, builds on the MAFS success.

Nine’s more intricate detail to local markets is giving audiences more trust in the network. In the past, if an event bumped a show in a local market, the episode may be skipped on broadcast, however, I have noticed that Nine will play the episode in daytime or on a multi channel more recently. When NRL returns later this month, until daylight savings concludes, Brisbane viewers will see A Current Affair on 9Gem, something that was not always considered in the past. For the Love of Pets will still be seen, but will just air on 9Gem. This has been a headache in the past with shows like Taronga Who: Who in the Zoo and Mega Zoo not finding episodes played out in northern markets – with all episodes still not fully played out in all markets.

With NRL screening on the main channel in Sydney and Brisbane and on 9Gem in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, the reverse programming will air between the channels in full so each market gets either the NRL in full or the alternate programming in full on alternate channels

Nine is also playing out a number of series / episodes that have not screened in various markets. Nine had almost 30 individual shows where episodes have either not played out (broadcast) in various markets or just have not had their seasons completed as a whole.

There is no doubt that MAFS is a massive player for Nine but with:

  1. Investment in the Australian Open
  2. Investment in local programming (60 Minutes, Big Miracles, The Hundred, Under Investigation)
  3. Showing more consideration in local market variations
  4. Investment in Australian programming outside of MAFS nights (RBT, For the Love of Pets and Space Invaders)
  5. Strong performance of Nine News
  6. ACA winning its slot on a regular basis

With viewers abound for choice across various channels and streamers, Nine’s building blocks continue to be Australian content and not just with their tentpole programming.

Still to come in 2023 are Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars, The Summit, Warnie, Human Error, RPA, Australia’s Most Identical, Lego Masters, Travel Guides, Parental Guidance, Paramedics, Emergency, Million Dollar Murders and Australian Crime Stories: The Investigators.

There is still no official word on The Weakest Link, Australia Behind Bars, Take Me Home, Matt Wright’s Wild Territory, Children’s Hospital, Say Yes to the Dress Australia, Snackmasters, Country Home Rescue (or a spin off), Taronga: Who’s Who in the Zoo, and Bondi Vet.

Nine also seems to have gone quiet on Missing Person Investigation, which was in development for 2022.

Nine were contacted for comment in relation to their success in 2023 and the Australian productions on air but chose not to respond.

Nine were also sought for clarification on some of the programs that are on the bubble but Nine chose not to respond.

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