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Australian Spartan debuts with half the audience of Ninja Warrior

Australian Spartan – Seven’s take on the obstacle course competition genre spawned by the success of Nine’s Ninja Warrior – has premiered with a metro audience of 816,000 viewers.

The viewing figure is well below its rival Ninja Warrior, which debuted to a metro audience of 1.68m in July last year

Nine’s Ninja Warrior maintained its popularity throughout its three-week run last year, finishing the season with 2.145m metro viewers, and a national audience of 3.087m.

Nine has previously flagged the ‘undeniable similarities’ in the way the two programs have been promoted, with Nine’s programming director Hamish Turner telling Mumbrella Seven is “obviously keen to emulate Ninja, but you have to question where the line of appropriation and imitation is”.

The night was a win for Nine thanks to Married at First Sight pulling its highest audience ever, with 1.536m metro viewers, according to OzTAM’s overnight preliminary metro ratings, and topping the key advertising demographics, 16-39, 18-49 and 25-54.

Nine News, which led into the MAFS commitment ceremony, had 1.084m – a rare win over Seven News’ 1.015m.

707,000 metro viewers tuned in to see One Nation co-founder David Oldfield booted from the jungle in Ten’s I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here. Ten said 624,000 metro viewers watched the main episode, which peaked at 841,000, according to actual broadcast times of the program. The elimination segment of the episode, Ten said, had 686,000 and peaked at 791,000.

Last night also saw the closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games screen on Seven. The countdown to the ceremony seemingly out-rated the celebration itself, with 580,000 and 528,000 viewers tuning in respectively.

The final day of the competition, ahead of the games’ closure, had an audience of 368,000.

The second half hour of Lisa Wilkinson’s run on The Sunday Project on Ten continued to noticeably out-rate the 6.30pm slot. The first half hour of the program had just 296,000 metro viewers, but by 7pm, the figure had climbed to 404,000.

ABC’s most-watched program was the news, with 714,000 viewers, while Grand Designs had 615,000.

The success of Married at First Sight and Nine News handed Nine the win for the night, with 27.0% of the audience. Seven had 21.7%, Ten 11.2%, ABC 8.6% and SBS 4.9%.

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