Ten’s Lisa Squillace says: ‘MasterChef consistently delivers for our brand partners’

Returning for a 14th season, the MasterChef Australia: Fans & Favourites premiere episode fired up last night, with 12 returning contestants battling it out against 12 everyday home cooks.

Network 10’s national sales director, Lisa Squillace, told Mumbrella advertiser interest has been as “strong as ever” for the new season.

“Brands continue to partner with MasterChef as it consistently delivers for our brand partners,” she said. “This is demonstrated by the number of brand partners who return year-after-year.”

The premiere saw 545,000 metro viewers tune in, and 749,000 viewers nationally, including live stream. Last year, the program saw 670,000 metro viewers tune in.

The program lifted 10’s timeslot up 49% in 25 to 54s week-on-week, and 45% in under 50s and 35% in 16 to 39s.

Squillace said there have been multiple returning sponsors, along with new partners and some who have come back after the break.

“There are a number of returning sponsors led by Coles, A2 Milk and Harvey Norman,” said Squillace. “The integration in MasterChef is authentic and this is what sets it apart from other programs.”

“We also have a range of innovative and best in market assets that sit around our integration and ensure a holistic impactful sponsorship campaign for all our partners,” she added.

Senior vice president, content and programming, Paramount Australia and New Zealand, Daniel Monaghan, said: “This years’ premiere proves that MasterChef Australia holds a special place in viewer’s hearts, despite strong competition.

“It’s wonderful to see Melissa, Jock and Andy back on our screens, challenging the Favourites and guiding the next batch of hopefuls.

“MasterChef Australia paved the way for prime-time cooking shows, and in its 14th season it continues to transform, inspire the nation and impress the world’s best chefs. This season’s recipe has something for everyone.”

Squillace added: “MasterChef is one of the most uplifting and inspiring shows on television. Many of our viewers have grown up with MasterChef and continue to be avid fans. The casting represents Australia, it’s diverse and showcases real people of all ages wanting to change their lives for the better.”

MasterChef host Melissa Leong told Mumbrella this particular season for her felt “extra special and very personal.”

“I think having people like Julie [Goodwin] for example, and being so generous with their vulnerability has just made this season so incredibly engaging. I feel quite emotional thinking about it,” she said.

“Nostalgia is a huge player in fashion, and popular culture in general. So, I think having returning contestants, even as far back as our OG Julie, it’ll bring back the audience that watched it right at the beginning, that may have dropped off. I definitely think a bit of the nostalgic throwback for viewers will be a positive for the show’s ratings,” added Leong.

“I think Australians are really craving comfort, and really craving to feel good. And while MasterChef has always been that way, I think having these older memorable contestants and then the excitement of the new contestants, is just such an amazing combination of old and new. It really presents.

“When I took on this job with MasterChef, I did say back then that I wasn’t a fan of the show and wasn’t something that I watched all of the time,” she said.

“There was some article that said I quoted that ‘if you wanted to become a chef then go and get a job,’ and that remains to be true for me, I really do believe that, but at the same time what I have learnt from this experience and why I have fallen in love with this role is that I found is that I value and respect utter vulnerability that people have to have in order to be in that kitchen and to cook the way that they do. I am completely floored by that every single day,” concluded Leong.


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