Manu Feildel, Pete Evans and Colin Fassnidge for MKR: The Rivals.
Manu Feildel, Pete Evans and Colin Fassnidge for MKR: The Rivals.

Seven’s big MKR gamble ‘hasn’t paid off’

Last night's opening episode of My Kitchen Rules: The Rivals was the show's lowest rating launch episode ever.

Just 498,000 viewers (five city metro) tuned in to watch the Channel 7 cooking program, which is now in it's 11th season.

MKR was comprehensively beaten by the Australian Open men's tennis final on Channel 9 (1.5 million viewers) and the finale of Channel 10's I'm a Celeb (884,000 viewers).

"It was always a risk to put the launch of MKR up against the tennis, and it's a gamble which hasn't paid off," Rob McKnight, a former Channel 10 executive producer who now runs TV Blackbox, told news.com.au. "For a network under pressure this is not a great start for Seven, but they have built up a big war chest for 2020, so it's not over yet!"

Colin Fassnidge mentors the house of 'fans' in the new season of My Kitchen Rules.
Colin Fassnidge mentors the house of 'fans' in the new season of My Kitchen Rules.

Things could go from bad to worse for MKR, with both Survivor (Channel 10) and Married At First Sight (Channel 9) kicking off tonight.

"The real test comes tonight when the three juggernauts go head to head," TV Tonight's David Knox told news.com.au. "It's no longer a fight to be number one, MAFS will win that brawl. With Australian Survivor in the mix, the real battle is now for number two."

Shane Gould returns in the new season of Survivor. Picture: Nigel Wright
Shane Gould returns in the new season of Survivor. Picture: Nigel Wright

 

Married At First Sight launches tonight. Picture: Channel 9
Married At First Sight launches tonight. Picture: Channel 9

Mr McKnight told news.com.au that MKR would struggle to outrate Survivor: All Stars, which features the return of some of the show's most popular contestants.

"The problem for Seven is that Ten have a lot of momentum after a great result for I'm a Celeb last night, and Survivor is a fantastic production which has been gaining traction over the past few years," he said. "After last night, I expect Survivor to take second place over MKR."