Has anyone noticed how many competitions and give aways channel Seven have been running lately? There is an SMS competition attached to My Kitchen Rules, various give aways on Sunrise and the latest – the Million Dollar March promoting Deal or No Deal.
Recently, Deal or No Deal has suffered a ratings decline thanks to its channel Nine rival Hot Seat. Generally, however, the difference between the two shows is not actually that much and can easily swing one way or another. Many viewers who come to Deal or no Deal during its half hour will stick around if the game is exciting enough, and leave otherwise.
Viewers are lured by the classic temptation of whether the contestant should take the deal or play on to see if their case has the highest amount of money possible. Viewers are more likely to stick around if say the $200,000 is still in play during the final cases and more likely to turn away if the contestant has already lost all of the high value cases. There is nothing more boring on Deal if the contestant has a number of cases left all below $10,000 – the bank offer hardly moves, and each case being chosen and eliminated hardly changes the game.
Generally, the ratings seem to reflect this phenomenon. Day 1 of the million dollar March provided a very exciting episodes of Deal or No Deal where the contestant pushed almost as far as he could taking home $66,000. The next day, Tuesday, the deal taken was $44,000. On Monday, Deal easily beat Hot Seat in the ratings. On Tuesday, Hot Seat won by a narrow margin.
Perhaps the increase on Monday might have been some people coming back to try the show. Seven did promote it extremely heavily with pop ups and ads dominating viewing on Seven for the past few nights.
But with the ratings returning to normal on Tuesday, and Deal even losing out to Hot Seat, it would suggest that the competition is not helping.
Radio do cash give away competitions all the time – which usually are designed to make you listen longer to the same station. TV, however, cash give aways just don’t seem to work as well as radio and appear as a blatant attempt just to buy ratings. So far from what I have seen, there has not been any significant increase to any shows where give aways have been offered.
For the record, its not just Seven. Nine often do it as well – most frequent give aways on Nine are on Today while Hot Seat also have had similar ratings drives.