THE Block outwitted and outplayed Australian Survivor in their first head-to-head battle last night.
Channel Nine’s renovation show, hosted by Scott Cam, nailed 1.074 million viewers across the five capital cities.
Ten’s Australian Survivor, hosted by Jonathan LaPaglia, was beached on 784,000 viewers.
Both programs beat Seven’s In Rio Today Olympic coverage which had to settle for bronze with 755,000 viewers.
The result is a boost for Nine. The decision to screen only one season of The Block this year appears to have paid off.
“We are delighted with the launch of The Block,” Nine’s program and production chief Andrew Backwell says.
“There is still a long way to go but it’s good to get off to a solid start and it is a credit to our great production team.”
The battle changes tonight when Seven launches Adriano’s Just Desserts into the 7.30pm timeslot against The Block and Australian Survivor. The cooking show will also screen Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
The new season of The Block is set in a 1920s art deco building in bayside Melbourne. Five teams have to transform the derelict building into luxury apartments.
Last night’s ratings result matched the first episode of last year’s Blocktagon which also launched with 1.074 million viewers.
Ten is banking on Australian Survivor building over coming episodes. Last night saw the first contestant eliminated — 59-year-old courier driver and retired army sergeant Des Quilty.
“We are pleased with how Australians responded to the first episode of Australian Survivor,” Ten program chief Beverley McGarvey says.
“It attracted solid audience numbers on television and on social media, and increased TEN’s audience in its timeslot significantly. The feedback on the 24 contestants and our host Jonathan LaPaglia has been very positive. And this is just the start. The rest of the series gets more exciting, spectacular and engaging, starting tonight with a brilliant challenge and tribal council.”