TVNZ is standing by its decision to continue with its regular viewing schedule and screen Masterchef, rather than follow the US election live.

TVNZ 1 aired a 1 News special which led into the news and Seven Sharp on election day, after which point it switched over to the reality cooking show.

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Meanwhile, TVNZ's rival TV3 extended its election coverage to have rolling live updates all the way through until 9pm.


The decision did not go unnoticed by viewers either, with some taking to social media to comment.

A TVNZ spokesperson defended the call saying the channel "dedicated a number of hours and significant resource to election coverage", with Corin Dann and Jack Tame reporting live from Trump and Clinton's headquarters.

They say they made two live updates between 8-9pm (when the results came in) and the coverage picked up later on Tonight, plus their online coverage on 1 News Now clocked up more than 200,000 streams.

"We continued to serve the news audience throughout the night with breaking news and analysis of the election on 1 News Now, and we served our other audiences with MasterChef Australia on TVNZ 1," the spokesperson says.

"We believe we made the right call and the viewing numbers support our decision."