Ratings: Where is TV3's X Factor?

Yes, I did just write that headline. Amazingly, an average audience of only 271,810 viewers tuned in for The X Factor elimination last night. While you could look at the data and say, well, the ratings for Monday night’s eliminations are up, except for last week’s show, the numbers are practically flat and certainly well down on the audition phase of the series.

So what does this mean? I’d suggest that the buzz around the show is internal. Mediaworks might be pushing the series across its vast network of radio stations but having the biggest radio audience doesn’t appear to translate into TV viewers.


Last week, the penultimate episode of Our First Home had an average audience of 531,920 viewers. This week, Border Patrol returned with an average audience of 540,340 right out of the gate.

MKR debuted on TV2 with an average audience of 288,330, an approximately 70% increase on the previous week.

Having seen so many of these talent shows now, I am amazed that there isn’t more hype around The X Factor. Is it due to the drama from earlier in the season? Have people just gotten bored with the format?

The reason I ask is because I think Stevie Tonks may very well be the best artist we’ve ever seen on one of these types of shows in New Zealand and yet that talent, which is what the show is supposed to be about (right?!) has been overshadowed by other dramas. People are still talking about Willy Moon and Natalia Kills but the buzz around the acts just seems absent.

And then, to top it off, the judges sent home an act last night that was in the bottom two for the first time and handed fourth timer yet another free pass.

Stupid decisions like this, coupled with ongoing distractions and a seemingly lack of commitment to the artists is what I’d suggest is undoing the show.

Additionally, I am completely amazed that while we just had the school holidays, there wasn’t a single mall tour or anything outside the insular Mediaworks network to capitalise on building the fan base, audience and ultimately, ad revenue.

While there is the frustration at having your ass kicked by TVNZ in the ratings with content that isn’t superior (IMHO), Mediaworks are doing themselves no favours at the moment. What they’re doing, ain’t working.

If John Campbell has cause for concern over his tenure in prime time then I’d suggest there might be a few others who need to have their positions reviewed as well if it is, as they say, all about the ratings.

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About the author

Regan is one of the co-founders of Throng Media.
If they're on, I'm usually watching Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, 24, Battlestar Galactica, The X Factor, Survivor, House of Cards, Mad Men and the NRL.
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  • John McCready

    My view is that X-Factor is a tired format. Figures in other markets have also been down and if course it was canned in the USA. We have a good host here and the production, in my view, is OK whilst not being outstanding. The show, as you say, has been too centred on the judges and I believe the talent poorly nurtured. All of this leads to the public just not caring. The Voice is a far better and up-to-date format and may well have been a better choice, if available and within budgets. I do hope the limited success of X-Factor doesn’t see locally produced singing contests leaving our screens.

    • Regan Cunliffe

      Part of me is done with these singing contests. I’m tired of them being about anything but the acts. TV3 have a radio network and now an event company but they undermine their potential stars with sideshows.

      I would rather see a trans tasman contest with Australia, produced out of Sydney.

      In any case, I don’t imagine we’ll see X Factor back on TV3 again…

      • Chris

        I watched all of the last series but have barely seen any of this show at all. Part of it was definitely influenced by the fact that once the show was done they didn’t seem interested in really backing the acts for any sort of future career. This became very obvious when Jackie Thomas released her album of covers, a terribly made low budget music video and then disappeared. If they did it right she could have been something people would aspire to be = ratings for the next series when people think “I want to be the next Jackie”. But no.

        But yeah I think a lot of people have just grown bored with the format. Seen one singing shown, seen them all haven’t you?

  • Shannon Ryan

    I don’t see this show coming back either. But I do see The Voice NZ being the replacement.

    • Regan Cunliffe

      Yes, but where? TV3?

      • Shannon Ryan

        Probably, since they’ve bought up Masterchef and now Dancing with the Stars. Having said that, TVNZ might finally realize they can’t afford to lose any more reality-competition. But I would like to see The X Factor tie with NZ Idol for three seasons – it was after all the highest rated show last night for TV3.

        • Regan Cunliffe

          The highest rating… surmises the title of this post, don’t you think?

  • benpaul12

    I think people are tired of the format, I was looking forward to watching X-factor this year because I really enjoyed the first one, but I never got around to actually sitting down and doing it.

    Maybe there’s just something about these shows where the novelty factor wears off. I don’t imagine they’ll do another Bachelor, but they may do Bachelorette?

    • Regan Cunliffe

      I would be surprised if they didn’t do another bachelor to be honest. Unlike their other shows, The Bachelor is building, as you’d expect it to…