Seven ‘in damage control’ over MAFS
It was once a guaranteed ratings winner for Channel 7, but this year's season of My Kitchen Rules has turned out more like a recipe for disaster.
As viewers continue to tune into Married At First Sight's cheating scandals and dinner party drama, the Seven cooking show has seen its ratings plunge.
This year's season of MKR has been consistently beaten in the ratings by MAFS but it has also lost around half of its usual audience, The Sunday Telegraph reports.
My Kitchen Rules has averaged around 800,000 viewers while MAFS has managed to pull in an audience of 1.6 million on average.
A TV insider told The Daily Telegraph MKR's ratings were "nothing short of a disaster," with Seven bosses "scrambling" to find ways to get more people tuning in.
One tactic was to re-edit the series focusing on the relationships between contestants, with a much-hyped "sex scandal" between Victor and Piper the focus of recent episodes.
But even that failed to make much difference to MKR's ratings, with the TV insider claiming there was "genuine concern" about what Seven can do in the future.
"MKR was their golden goose for many, many years and without its revenue stream the network needs to either find a 'lightning in a bottle' idea like MAFS or figure out a way to get MKR back on track," they said.
Seven bosses aren't the only ones reportedly unhappy about this year's season of MKR, with the contestants at the centre of the "sex scandal" storyline upset at its inclusion on the show.
Veronica, whose teammate Piper was sleeping with Victor, told news.com.au their relationship was far from a "bombshell" and other contestants had been aware of it.
"Everyone knew what was going on between Victor and Piper," Veronica said.
"Romel knew what was going on. Piper had confided in him about the relationship … and Josh and Austin knew as well and they just kept picking.
"It's very unfair for Piper. At the end of the day she was bullied at that table. It's just very unfair because it's all public. She's got a family and two kids and this is really unfair."
Veronica also claimed that Piper begged producers not to air the sex scandal storyline, but that her pleas were ignored.
"Piper obviously (wanted) to keep it a little more private," Veronica said.
"It was quite tough for her and it's still quite tough for her. I was with her yesterday … we're still friends and we keep checking up on each other and Piper hasn't been in a good place and unfortunately it's because of the show.
"At the end of the day we signed up for a cooking show. Of course things are going to happen - I get that - but this is quite full on.
"There's a family here, there are kids involved. I just think it's really wrong."