Voice hits a low note
Joel Madden, Kylie Minogue, Ricky Martin and will.i.am on The Voice Australia. Picture: Supplied

There's no reason for the Nine Network to start panicking about the fate of hit reality series The Voice, but there are causes for concern.

The Voice enters the live finals stage on Monday, when the remaining 16 artists launch their bids to become the third winner of the Australian series.

But the once unstoppable juggernaut is in a ratings decline and it will be interesting to see if the live finals can lift their flagging numbers.

The third season of The Voice has hit some notable low points.

Its average viewing numbers are down about nine per cent, from 1.924 million to 1.753 million, for the same period last year.

For the first time ever The Voice dipped below 1.5 million viewers - and that hasn't happened just once, but three times.

It's attracted more than two million viewers only once, which was the launch of the third season on May 4, when the show was watched 2.157 million people.

Last year, leading up the live finals, The Voice passed two million viewers six times.

Then there's the series low point, when 1.259 million tuned in on the Sunday of the Queen's Birthday weekend, according to OzTAM's overnight ratings.

Admittedly it was a long weekend but it's only passed 1.5 million viewers once since then.

Overall the ratings are far from a catastrophe for a commercial network because any show that attracts more than a million viewers a night is considered a success.

However, The Voice costs Nine a motza to make and a decline in ratings could mean compensating advertisers who paid for spots based on last year's viewing numbers.

That may cause some pain when you consider the appearance money and expenses being spent on Will.i.am, Ricky Martin, Kylie Minogue and Joel Madden.

Add to that the payment for guest mentors like Black Eyed Peas band member apl.de.ap plus the massive productions costs and you start to get a picture of this financial behemoth.

Yet while The Voice viewing numbers are in decline, its direct timeslot opponents - Seven Network's House Rules and Network Ten's MasterChef - are heading in the opposite direction.

Admittedly, both reality shows are not pulling the same average weekly numbers as The Voice but their viewership is growing.

The second season of House Rules is averaging about 1.314 million viewers compared to the inaugural 2013 season of 1.126 million.

The sixth season of MasterChef is averaging 843,000, which is almost 20 per cent more than 2013, when it was watched, on average, by 709,000 viewers.

What's notable about The Voice's live finals is that they are being staged on Monday nights - the ratings' weak point of the series.

House Rules has not only beaten The Voice the last four Mondays, it's also won the overnight ratings on each occasion.

The Voice finals battle will not only take place on stage but in the ratings as well.

The Voice (ratings comparison before live finals)


  • Year-to-date average: 1.924m

  • More than 2 million viewers: six times

  • Fewer than 1.5 million viewers: never

  • Season high: 2.081m

  • Season low: 1.563m


  • Year-to-date average: 1.753m

  • More than 2 million viewers: once

  • Fewer than 1.5 million viewers: three times

  • Season high: 2.157m

  • Season low: 1.259m

The West Australian

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