Freedomroo – Today closes the ratings gap with Sunrise thanks to Married At First Sight

Making progress: Nine's Today show is narrowing the gap with Channel Seven rivals Sunrise in the breakfast TV ratings - and it could be thanks to Married At First Sight. Pictured: Today hosts Allison Langdon and Karl Stefanovic

Nine’s Today show is narrowing the gap with Channel Seven rivals Sunrise in the breakfast TV ratings – and it could be thanks to Married At First Sight.

On Wednesday, 211,000 metro viewers tuned in to watch Today hosts Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon interview MAFS participants after Tuesday night’s final vows.

While this represented a ratings boost for Today, it still wasn’t enough to beat Sunrise which had an audience of 229,000 in the five major cities. 

Making progress: Nine’s Today show is narrowing the gap with Channel Seven rivals Sunrise in the breakfast TV ratings – and it could be thanks to Married At First Sight. Pictured: Today hosts Allison Langdon and Karl Stefanovic

However, a difference of only 18,000 is nothing to sneeze at given that Today has lagged behind by significantly more in the past, TV Tonight reports. 

This year’s season of MAFS has been another prime-time ratings success for Nine.

The social experiment has been heavily cross-promoted on the Today show, Today Extra and A Current Affair, offering a welcome boost to those programs.

It's a hit! This year's season of MAFS has been another prime-time ratings success for Nine. The social experiment has been heavily cross-promoted on the Today show, Today Extra and ACA, offering a welcome boost to those programs. Pictured: MAFS couple Bryce and Melissa

It’s a hit! This year’s season of MAFS has been another prime-time ratings success for Nine. The social experiment has been heavily cross-promoted on the Today show, Today Extra and ACA, offering a welcome boost to those programs. Pictured: MAFS couple Bryce and Melissa

Sunrise vs Today: The ratings for Seven and Nine's breakfast shows are displayed here

Sunrise vs Today: The ratings for Seven and Nine’s breakfast shows are displayed here

A popular prime-time offering has likely benefited Today because many viewers have a habit of watching the breakfast show that is on when they turn on their television sets the next day.

Therefore, if someone watched Married At First Sight on Nine the night before, they’re more likely to stick with Today the following morning.

MAFS has seen tempers flare and emotions run high  this year – with much of the focus on Bryce Ruthven’s relationship with Melissa Rawson.

Today’s ratings boost may come to an end, however, when the reality shot concludes on Sunday with part two of the reunion dinner party.

Meanwhile: Sunrise experienced a similar growth in ratings due to co-host Sam Armytage's (pictured) departure in March, with curious viewers sticking around see how her replacement Natalie Barr fared in the hot seat alongside David 'Kochie' Koch

Meanwhile: Sunrise experienced a similar growth in ratings due to co-host Sam Armytage’s (pictured) departure in March, with curious viewers sticking around see how her replacement Natalie Barr fared in the hot seat alongside David ‘Kochie’ Koch 

Meanwhile, Sunrise experienced a similar growth in ratings due to co-host Sam Armytage’s departure in March, with curious viewers sticking around see how her replacement Natalie Barr fared in the hot seat alongside David ‘Kochie’ Koch. 

The Seven breakfast show spiked to 308,000 metro viewers for Sam’s last day.

The numbers settled back down to 248,000 the following week and have remained steady, proving the audience has warmed to Natalie as a main presenter. 

Steady lead: The Seven breakfast show spiked to 308,000 metro viewers for Sam's last day. The numbers settled back down to 248,000 the following week and have remained steady, proving the audience has warmed to Natalie (left) as a main presenter. Right: David Koch

Steady lead: The Seven breakfast show spiked to 308,000 metro viewers for Sam’s last day. The numbers settled back down to 248,000 the following week and have remained steady, proving the audience has warmed to Natalie (left) as a main presenter. Right: David Koch

Natalie, who used to be the newsreader for Sunrise, told TV Blackbox last month her first day on the job was ‘nightmarish’.

‘I love covering the news, I love going out to these stories. But the attention on me is not my natural habitat,’ she said.

‘The first day, was probably a bit nightmarish for me because everyone kept asking, “How are you? How are you going? What’s it like?” 

‘I just wanted to go back to the new normal, where we’ll actually be covering the news, and the events and the great interviews that we do – not me!’  

Out of her comfort zone: Natalie, who used to be the newsreader for Sunrise, told TV Blackbox last month her first day on the job was 'nightmarish'

Out of her comfort zone: Natalie, who used to be the newsreader for Sunrise, told TV Blackbox last month her first day on the job was ‘nightmarish’

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