6 Sep 2013 07:20:40 AM
Blame the new channel. Blame the new night. Blame viewer fatigue from the five hours of UFC fights on FOX Sports 1 that preceeded it. Blame it on the a, a-a-a, a-al, co-hol. Whatever the explanation is, Wednesday’s The Ultimate Fighter 18: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate premiere didn’t exactly blow up the airwaves, averaging 762,000 viewers, the smallest audience for a season premiere in the show’s history. The number is less than half of the 1.51 million viewers who tuned in to episode 1 of TUF 17: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen, which aired Tuesday nights on FX earlier this year.
The current-record holder for lowest-rated Ultimate Fighter season is TUF 16, which debuted with 947k viewers but went as low as 624k viewers in its fifth episode, and introduced the world to Julian Lane. It seems likely that TUF 18 will sink below TUF 16‘s low-water mark, given the audience drop-off that generally happens after the season premiere. (In a related story, UFC Fight Night 28 brought in just 539,000 viewers on FOX Sports 1 earlier that night — down 35% from the previous week’s Fight Night: Condit vs. Kampmann show in Indianapolis — but I guess that shouldn’t surprise anybody.)
Of course, there’s always a way to spin stories like these, and UFC president Dana White defended the numbers on a UG post last night:Read More DIGG THIS