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Tag: TUF ratings

TUF 20 Debut Pulls In 536k Viewers For Worst Premiere Ratings in Show’s History


(“Beauty might be skin deep, but so are our viewers.”) 

If you were overcome with a sudden feeling of deja vu while reading that headline, you’re not alone. We’ve written some variation of it at least three times now — once for the TUF 16 premiere, again for the TUF 18 premiere, and probably once for TUF 19, but we don’t care enough to look it up — with the only variant between them being the perpetually-descending number of viewers tuning in each season. But yes, the numbers are in, and with 536,000 viewers, TUF 20: Easy on the Eyes, Hard on the Face has shattered the record for the lowest viewed season premiere in the show’s history. I guess we should have seen this coming.

I don’t mean to make some overarching statement about the state of WMMA here, but this can’t be a good sign for the popularity of the women’s strawweight division. Between the social media campaign, the PR tour, the red carpet premiere, and the blatantly sexualized marketing campaign that was put together for this show, it was safe to say that the UFC had a lot riding on TUF 20. Expectations were high, and the season premiere bombed. Hard. Like, the Jacksonville Jaguars’ offensive line hard.

The craziest thing about all this? The TUF 20 premiere was actually good. The brackets, the attention to the fighters backstories, the massive upset that was Torres vs. Marcos — it was a top notch episode from production to pacing. While the dwindling quality of seasons past has been rightfully reflected by its viewership (or flat out discussed on the show itself), TUF 20 is the first season in the show’s history to crown a champion at its conclusion. It had stakes, dynamic participants, all of the stuff that reminds us what a compelling show TUF can be. Yet no one fucking watched it.

I’m not sure what there is to take away from TUF 20‘s abysmal numbers, really, other than the fact that FS1 will likely never be a comparable platform for delivering MMA content to Spike TV. But be honest, how many of you actually tuned in for last week’s premiere?

-J. Jones

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‘TUF 18′ Episode 9 CRUSHES The Record for Least-Viewed Episode Ever


(I *begged* them to have “Oh Yeah” playing in the background of this scene, but did they listen to me? Nooooooo.)

Yesterday, we mentioned that the Ultimate Fighter 18 mid-season recap episode which aired on October 23rd was the least-viewed episode in the history of the series. To be specific, it received an average of only 476,000 viewers, a 24% drop from the previous low-water mark of 624,000 average viewers, brought in by TUF 16 episode 5. It was a poor showing, without question, but you can’t expect much out of a clip-show, especially since it was competing against the first game of the World Series. Surely, the numbers would bounce back the following week, when there was an all-new episode with a women’s fight on the schedule.

Actually, the numbers sunk even further. On October 30th, TUF 18 episode 9 — which featured the forcible ejection of Cody Bollinger and a savage performance by Sarah Moras — received a viewer average of only 452,000, a 5% drop from the freakin’ clip show. Obviously, the numbers were hurt once again by having to compete with Game 6 of the World Series, but it’s safe to assume that the UFC will never put together a mid-season recap episode for TUF ever again, because that shit is apparently ratings suicide. (By the way, is there really that much crossover between MMA fans and baseball fans? I can’t think of two more dissimilar sports, but I guess a lot of people were watching the MLB post-season this year. I don’t know. I wasn’t one of them.)

The recent TUF ratings news is just the latest in a string of bad viewership numbers for the UFC…

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TUF 18 Ratings Update: A Round of Applause For Our First Group of Female Contestants


(“I’m so sorry…I’m sorry…I’m…*looks down*…hey, those really are nice shoes.” Photo via Getty.) 

If you’ve been following The Ultimate Fighter this season, chances are that, like us, you’ve been more than impressed with the quality of the fights themselves. Four great fights with four decisive (not to mention brutal) finishes have easily outshined most if not all of the petty drama that oft permeates the TUF house, a trend that has only increased since the program’s move to the FX and FOX Sports 1 networks.

Unfortunately, great fights have not necessarily equaled great ratings this season. Blame it on the new network, blame it on the time slot, but TUF 18‘s ratings have been just barely swimming above the “lowest live-viewership” record since the premiere episode. Yes, despite seeing a temporary boost with the second episode, MMAFighting’s Dave Meltzer is reporting that last week’s fight between Davey Grant and LivesWithParents pulled in just 640,000 viewers.

In fact, episode 3, featuring the fight between Chris Holdsworth and Chris Beal, similarly drew in just 639,000 viewers. Here’s the thing, episodes 2 and 4 – which featured the female fights of Baszler/Pena and Rakoczy/Modafferi — performed significantly better than those featuring their male counterparts. As Meltzer writes:

For the Ultimate Fighter, there has been an up-and-down pattern in the ratings. As in, the week of a women’s fight, the audience is up. The two women’s fights, airing on Sept. 12 and Sept. 26, did 870,000 and 778,000 viewers live. The men’s fights on Sept. 19 and Oct. 3 did 639,000 and 640,000. 

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What Sorcery is This? ‘TUF 18, Episode 2′ Ratings *Up* 14% From Season Premiere


(“Quick, someone get a trampoline and Adam Carolla before everyone stops watching!” Photo via Getty.) 

It looks like a few more of us were finally able to find the Fox Sports 1 network on our deluxe digital cable television packages (#whitepeopleproblems). According to MMAFighting’s Dave Meltzer, viewership for the second episode of The Ultimate Fighter 18 jumped up 14% from the season’s premiere last week. It’s not incredible news given how abysmal said premiere’s ratings were, but it’s something gosh darn it:

It was the largest increase of a first episode of the season to a second episode in the 18-season history of the show. Only four previous seasons has the second episode had more viewers than the first, almost all in the early days of the show. Some of the gain was due to significant promotion of the show during FOX’s NFL telecasts on Sunday. Other was likely positive word-of-mouth coming from the first episode.

Right Dave, “promotion during NFL telecasts” and “word-of-mouth” were responsible for the increase in TUF 18 viewership. Please, explain to me again what exactly this “NFL” is that you speak of (*shakes head*). The ONLY reasoning behind these numbers is that the audience who tuned in the first week, like myself, instantly fell in love with Miesha Tate and had to come back for more. That being the case, I’d just like to let you all know right here and now that I CALL DIBS (after she leaves Bryan Caraway, which she totally told me she was doing this one time on Twitter).

Previously: Comparing/Contrasting/GIF-capping Shayna Baszler and Julianna Pena’s TUF 18, Week 2 blogs.

-J. Jones

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Could the First International Version of The Ultimate Fighter Already Be on the Verge of Cancellation?


(If the UFC really wanted to save TUF: Brazil, perhaps they could start by firing the 8 year-old responsible for photoshopping their promo posters.) 

Although the seventeenth season of the original The Ultimate Fighter marked a much-needed improvement in the reality show over that of previous seasons (and saw a substantial climb in ratings as a result), apparently the same cannot be said about its international counterpart, TUF: Brazil. Apparently.

Yes, despite pulling in nearly 8 million viewers during its first season, TUF: Brazil 2 — which features Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Fabricio Werdum as opposing coaches – is crashing and burning. According to a report by Brazilian outlet Ataque Total, the reality show has not been renewed for a third season as a result of continually waning fan interest:

With near 1-million viewers per episode, the season two of TUF Brazil don’t had the success of the first and is airing on 23h50 of Sundays. The second season has 16 welterweights in only one weight class and Minotauro Nogueira divides the coaching with Fabricio Werdum.

A huge team rivalry, lots of injuries and some boring fights is almost a trademark in the season. It’s a huge news for the brazilian MMA, with the sport losing its only weekly program in the biggest TV channels of Brazil. Alongside TUF Brazil, Rede Globo also shows 3 UFCs per year (usually Anderson Silva and Jose Aldo ones) and other channels like Bandeirantes, Record and RedeTV aren’t into the MMA world yet. 

As one would expect, the UFC has already taken to the interwebs to dispute these reports…

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‘TUF 16′ Viewership Plummets Even Further, Hits New Low-Water Mark of 624,000 Viewers


(I know I’ve seen you on TV somewhere. Hillbilly Handfishin’? Duck Dynasty? Can you give me a hint?)

By George Shunick

Yes, I know we just called for a hiatus on these “TUF ratings are in the shitter” posts. And I know O Chan just finished explaining why, from a network perspective, selling ads on original programming like TUF is better than giving them away during a broadcast of Big Momma’s House 2, even if the raw numbers are declining. But still, guys. You need to hear this.

A week after season 16 of TUF scored its highest amount of viewers with 1,100,000 — thanks to a strong lead-in from the UFC on FX 5 broadcast — the show reached rock bottom and saw that number shrink to just 624,000 for episode 5. In other words, only 56.7% of last week’s viewers stuck around for the next episode. It’s the worst viewership tally in the show’s history, falling alarmingly short of the previous low-ratings record of 775,000 viewers. It’s gotten so ugly that BG’s prediction of 660,000 viewers representing the nadir of the season has already been shattered two weeks after he made it. Time to readjust our already-low expectations.

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Counter-Point: The UFC’s Ratings on FX Aren’t a Disaster, And Here’s Why


(Struggling towards victory in the middle of a barren wasteland — an apt metaphor for Friday-night television, if you think about it.)

 By Oliver Chan

“With all due respect to Spike…  Mr. Hill, Mr. Shanks, and I have 50 gross rating points and promotions in the cushions of our couches.”  - President of FX, John Landgraf, on the performance of TUF on Spike (8/18/11)

There’s a lot to be said about the declining ratings of The Ultimate Fighter since the move to FX and rightfully so. FX has yet to see the same success as TUF had when it was on Spike. However, as John Landgraf pointed out during the August 2011 press conference announcing the deal with the UFC and Fox, Spike simply does not hold a candle to the ratings delivery that FX gets. When you compare the numbers on a national level, he’s right.

Just take a look at the Nielson Prime-time numbers from 3Q11:


(Click to enlarge)

Comparing the two networks, FX has an increase of the 18-34 and 18-49 demos on both impressions delivered as well as the ratings share over Spike. It’s also important to realize that according to the Cable Advertising Bureau, Spike is available in close to 99 million homes, where FX is in just over 97 million.  In other words, FX still manages to attract move viewers, despite being in less than 2 million homes than Spike.

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‘TUF 16′ Episode 3 Draws 775k Viewers, Sets New Record for Worst Ratings in Show’s History


(What if they threw a mattress into a pool…and nobody came? / Props: CageWall.com)

I’m sure a lot of you couldn’t care less how many people are watching The Ultimate Fighter — and yeah, we’re beginning to sound like a broken record at this point — but you’ll have to forgive us, because we have a perverse, car-crash-rubbernecker fascination with how low these numbers are dropping. As MMA Junkie informs us, episode 3 of TUF 16: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson took in just 775,000 viewers, which sets a brand-new record for lowest viewership of a TUF episode. The previous record-holder was the eleventh episode of last season, which pulled in 821,000 viewers.

TUF 16′s viewership numbers have sunk about 18% from the premiere’s, which were shaky to begin with. While the 0.5 rating that Friday’s episode drew in the Adult 18-49 demographic was good enough for #4 in its timeslot among cable programming — behind re-runs of American Dad, Law & Order: SVU, and Diners, Drive Ins & Dives — it finished 98th out the top 100 shows on Friday night in terms of total viewers.

As Dana White might say, that’s an absolute home run and we should shut the fuck up. But still, the audience is simply not sticking around from week to week. So instead of making a new post every time TUF hits a dubious new ratings record, we’ll just ask you: How low will the viewership get this season? Throw your guesses in the comments section, and the closest guess wins a CagePotato t-shirt at the end of the season. We’ll start: 660,000. Your move.

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