Viewers are deserting the free-to-air broadcasters’ primary channels but they’re not flocking to pay-TV.

While audiences continue to fragment viewers increasingly are turning to the networks’ digital channels, according to Fusion Media’s Steve Allen.

Allen’s analysis of the 2014 ratings year-to-date shows MasterChef, House Rules and The Block – Fans vs Faves have gained viewers on last year, by 32%, 16.4% and 14.6% respectively in the 16-54 demographic.

The Block Glasshouse is down fractionally and there have been double-digit declines by The X Factor, The Voice and My Kitchen Rules.

Consolidated audiences for those seven shows collectively are down by 3% in 16-54s. “This is a very strong result in the face of all the challenges and the continuing fragmentation of the media market,” Allen said.

Overall live peak night 16-54 audiences for the year-to-date are down 2.17% on the three major commercial networks. The main channels are further down but audiences staying largely within FTA TV:

7 YTD Peak 16-54   -5.46%
9 YTD Peak 16-54   -4.45%
10 YTD Peak 16-54 -2.52%

None of the other reality shows including The Biggest Loser, Big Brother, So You Think You Can Dance and The Bachelor commands 1 million—plus viewers.

“One conclusion you could draw from this is that big ‘shiny floor’ talent shows have enjoyed their 5 minutes in the spotlight as both The Voice and The X Factor suffered strong double digit declines in 2014,” he said.

“These kind of programmes are hard to replace; they occupy significant hours and with large audiences, so they are unlikely to be retired. There is little to nothing around to replace them.”

My Kitchen Rules, the second most popular multi-day reality show, lost audience due to Nine scheduling The Block Fans Vs Faves directly against it.

 

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