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HomeNewsThe Challenge Australia finale nets zero viewers in Brisbane

The Challenge Australia finale nets zero viewers in Brisbane

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Channel 10 has hit a disastrous new low in ratings with the finale of its latest reality show netting zero viewers in Brisbane.

The Challenge Australia, Ten’s “all-star” show which debuted in November, was bumped to a later timeslot just one week after its lacklustre premiere, before it was ultimately moved to the network’s multichannel, 10 Shake, earlier this month.

And now the ratings for Wednesday night’s finale are in – and they’re bleak.

According to Australian television website TV Tonight, the show received just 11,000 viewers overall, with not one viewer tuning in in Brisbane.

Bachelor alum Kiki Morris and Ninja Warrior’s Troy Cullen took out the competition in the final episode, each taking home a hefty $100,000 cash prize.

Ten didn’t send out a press release after the finale aired, which is unusual for a TV finale on a major network.

TV Tonight editor David Knox told the later timeslot and banishment to a multichannel didn’t help its chances in the ratings, but conceded the show didn’t “grab the public’s imagination”.

“The TV landscape is filled with a litany of ambitious reality shows that offer big concepts and big prizes but still don’t grab the public’s imagination. That leaves the network with the dilemma of where to play out their obligations,” Knox said.

“In the case of The Challenge, Ten moved it to later slots and ultimately a low-level multichannel where those who stuck with it seemed happy with the outcome.”

Knox suggested The Challenge Australia was part of a global play for Paramount+, so it served a wider purpose than local ratings. Winners Kiki and Troy will now go on to compete in a global championship against winners around the world, which will air on the streamer.

“Troy and Kiki move to The Challenge: Global Championship, which is a key to all the decisions here,” Knox added.

“Ten is part of a bigger picture where Paramount is pushing global formats, including The Challenge and The Real Love Boat. It does sort of beg the question if Ten is programming with one arm behind its back?”

It’s not uncommon for a show to net zero viewers given networks air content 24/7, however it’s rare for a series that launched as a prime time competitor against reality shows such as Nine’s The Block.

The earlier decision to move The Challenge from 7.30pm to 8.30pm came after its audience hit a season low of just 136,000 city metro viewers in its second week on-air, down from the 257,000 viewers who tuned in to its launch episode.

Ten also began airing double episodes to burn through the season faster. This was the same fate that befell Ten’s other failed reality series, The Real Love Boat Australia, when it premiered to low ratings in October.

The Challenge, which followed a tried-and-tested international format and had been likened to Survivor, got off to a rocky start before it even aired when it was mercilessly mocked after the unveiling of the “celeb” cast in September.

Ten’s social media announcement touted the list of 22 cast members as “Australia’s most talked-about celebrities”, but it was met with some derision, given the 22 “stars” were mainly former reality TV stars.

Hosted by non-binary TV presenter Brihony Dawson, the series featured Brooke Blurton, Brittany Hockley and Ciarran Stott, to name a few.

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