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Tag: ratings low

‘TUF 18′ Debut Averages 762,000 Viewers for Smallest Premiere-Audience in Series History


(Okay, new strategy: We just turn this show into an offshoot of Naked and Afraid. / Image via Fox Sports 1)

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:

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Let the Ratings Decline Begin: Bellator to Begin Airing Events on Friday Nights


(Aaaaaaaannnnndddd it’s gone.) 

The study of TV trends/viewership is an interesting and incredibly thorough one, but there is perhaps no television trend more notorious than the Friday Night Death Slot, which maintains that any program placed in the graveyard slot (approximately 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.) on a Friday night is ultimately destined for cancellation. Countless examples can be cited to back this theory: Malcolm in the Middle, Firefly, the criminally overlooked Happy Endings, and of course, Fridays. In fact, the dreaded time slot can even be held (at least partially) accountable for the abysmal ratings of TUF 15 and TUF 16.

Of course, some scheisters out there will try to convince you that Friday night is primo advertising time, throwing all sorts of fancy “facts” and “numerical data” at you in the process, which probably explains why Bellator is voluntarily moving their events to Friday nights starting in the fall. Loretta Hunt was the first to pass along the news:

To avoid the NFL crush, Bellator MMA will move from Thursday to Friday nights this fall, Spike TV president Kevin Kay exclusively told SI.com during a screening this week forFight Master, its original MMA reality series debuting on June 19.

I don’t want to see Bellator going head to head with the UFC,” said Kay. “I don’t think that makes any sense for fans. No matter who would win in that scenario (Author’s note: The answer you’re looking for is “the UFC”), you don’t want to not give the fans the choice to watch both.

Kay goes on to cite TUF 16 as an *example* of a show doing well during the Friday slot, as well as the Discovery Channel’s “Gold Rush”, which averages 4 million viewers on Friday nights. Yes, a show that captures all the drama of sifting through sand reels in 4 million of us — week, after week, after mind-numbing week — before we switch over to the History Channel to watch people drive trucks across icy roads for the eighth year in a row. Meanwhile, Arrested Development was cancelled after 3 seasons. This is why we can’t have nice things, Nation.

-J. Jones

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‘TUF 16′ Episode 1 Pulls In 947k Viewers For Worst Premiere Ratings in Show’s History


(If you don’t tune in to see this guy put his shoulder through some drywall, then you’re just not a real fan.)

As first reported by MMAJunkie, Friday’s debut episode of The Ultimate Fighter 16: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson drew just 947,000 viewers on FX. That number makes it the worst-performing premiere episode in the history of TUF, and marks a 27% drop from the 1.3 million viewers who watched the season premiere of The Ultimate Fighter: Live in March.

And while we’re piling on abuse, 947k viewers means that TUF 16‘s first episode is tied for the fourth-lowest-rated episode in the history of the show; only the 8th, 11th, and 12th episodes of last season did worse. That’s particularly bad news when you consider that premieres are generally the highest-rated episodes of each TUF season — aside from the Kimbo Exception — with the ratings numbers gradually sinking afterwards.

So how low will the numbers sink this season, and how long will it take before the total viewership drops below the show’s all-time bottom of 821k? Cue Dana White rant about how they got this [expletive] thing dialed in, and FX is actually really happy with the numbers. Come on guys. Put this sick dog out of its misery.

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Is the UFC’s Fox Deal Hurting Business?


(Video courtesy of YouTube/StudioMMA)

An interesting quote from the interview above by our friends at StudioMMA got me thinking today whether or not the landmark TV deal the UFC struck with Fox is helping or hindering Zuffa’s bottom line.

According to UFC president Dana White, every day he deals with fans who say they had no idea that the UFC is broadcasting events on Fox and it’s affiliates like FX and Fuel TV.

“Our deal with Fox is seven years. Over the next two years we’re working our asses off to get this Fox deal dialed in… Fuel, FX and big Fox — as far as the production goes, as far as the type of programming we’re going to continue to put together, fine-tuning the Ultimate Fighter that’s live and reaching out and letting not only the hardcore fans, the sometimes fans and people who aren’t yet fans know that we’re on Fox. That’s a bigger job than people could imagine. How many people that I still talk to on Twitter that have no idea we are on FOX, FX or FUEL; oh, it’s crazy man. It’s crazy. So that’s what we’re going to be doing in the next two years.”

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