ALRIGHT guys, it is time to fess up. Which of you has secretly watched The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and Married At First Sight?
Channels Nine and Ten have revealed that hundreds of thousands of Aussie men have been avid viewers of their hit dating shows in 2015.
Ten’s figures reveal that 29 per cent of the 985,000 viewers (average) of this year’s season of The Bachelor across the five capital cities are blokes — a whopping 285,650.
That figure jumps to 30 per cent, or 309,000, for The Bachelorette which averaged 1.03 million viewers across its series.
The finales of both shows were each seen by around 500,000 Aussie men.
Nine’s Married At First Sight grabbed an even bigger share of male viewers — 35 per cent or upwards of 420,000 blokes per episode.
The result is a big surprise. Dating shows including The Bachelor, The Bacheloretteand Married At First Sight are traditionally seen as female-centric programs.
Seven is set to jump on the bandwagon and roll out a new dating show Kiss Bang Love in 2016. Nine is reviving The Farmer Wants a Wife and has two series ofMarried at First Sight in the pipeline.
Psychologist Dr Janet Hall says there are some simple reasons for men to watch dating shows.
“Men want to learn what women are attracted by in a man,” Dr Hall says. “They also just like the eye candy of the women on the show and enjoy the fantasy trip of ‘who would I choose if I was the man’.”
In The Bachelor, 21 ladies were out to woo Sam Wood. The early favourite was Heather Maltman but by series end 34-year-old single mum Snezana Markoski had won the personal trainer’s heart.
The Bachelorette saw Sam Frost find love with construction manager Sasha Mielczarek after the heartbreak of being dumped by Blake Garvey in last year’s series of The Bachelor.
Married At First Sight tracked the rollercoaster aftermath of four couples who met for the first time at the altar. Only one couple is still together — Zoe Hendrix and Alex Garner.
Dr Hall says there are a number of positive lessons for men who watch these shows.
“It will make men think more deeply about the women and what they are offering other than their looks,” Dr Hall explains.
“They can empathise with the women that are rejected and learn to value a realistic connection and not just a romantic ideal.”
Media analyst Steve Allen says advertisers are neglecting this hidden well of male viewers.
“All of these dating shows have sizeable male minority audiences,” Mr Allen says. “They often skew younger to middle age (16 to 54) which is a plus too.
“These men are being overlooked by advertisers, especially considering that 25 per cent of main grocery buyers are male.
“These programs pretty much hit that exact profile so this is a very valuable dual audience.”
Author: Colin Vickery