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Battle of the cooking shows: TVNZ wins first round

Broadcasters TVNZ and MediaWorks launched their new season  of cooking shows last night, with the state broadcaster’s tried and true format MasterChef leading the ratings.

In the 5+ demographic TVNZ walloped MediaWorks, with an average audience of 482,000 over the 160,600 who tuned in for TV3’s new show The Great Food Race.

In the 25-54 demographic attractive to advertisers, MasterChef had 185,4000 viewers over 93,2000 for The Great Food Race.

MediaWorks spokeswoman Rachel Lorimer says it is early days for a new show and format but describes last night’s ratings as “solid.”

She says the audience figures are similar to what TV3 was getting in the timeslot this time last year when it screened shows such as The Simpsons and Family Guy.

TVNZ spokeswoman Georgie Hills declined to comment on the ratings, preferring to let the numbers speak for themselves.

The ratings win is a confidence booster for TVNZ’s MasterChef, following long-time lead sponsor Countdown’s decision last year to reduce its support for the show. 

Countdown general manager of marketing Bridget Lamont says the supermarket still supports MasterChef as past experience had proven its customers love food television.

However, she says The Great Food Race appealed because it  “takes the challenge of home cooking to new heights”.

MediaWorks will not disclose how much Countdown is spending to back The Great Food Race, but MediaWorks has told NBR the sponsorship is equilvalent to Bunnings' involvement in The Block NZ

Countdown’s sponsorship of The Great Food Race will involve featuring recipes from each week's show in store and online so viewers can make the meals themselves.

MediaWorks also has Air New Zealand on board to sponsor The Great Food Race which will see contestants travel within New Zealand and overseas. 

TVNZ replaced Countdown with Centrum as lead sponsor for MasterChef this season. The multi-vitamin brand has a 10-second ad spot immediately before the show’s credits.

Fisher & Paykel, Skoda, Campbell's Real Stock and Stevens will also all feature products on MasterChef.

More by Victoria Young

Comments and questions

What TV3's offering lacks is another Josh, Simon & Ray.

What both shows lack is intelligent entertainment, rather than repeating stale formats.

Most of these shows a copies of Australian programs and rely on personalities as much as cooking ability to carry an audience, my favourite was on Maori TV, the excellent Kai Time, with the dishy Pete