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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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sofiax- September 19, 2012 at 5:35 pm
Love my job, since I've been bringing in $82h… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online… Red97.com
Nintendong- September 19, 2012 at 3:40 pm
The ratings were bad, because TUF fucking sucks. The UFC has become a text book example of product saturation.
UnloadMe- September 18, 2012 at 7:38 am
who cares what night its on... doesnt everyone have a pvr these days?? that way you can skip all the girly drama and get straight to the fights
SocraticMethod- September 18, 2012 at 7:32 am
I actually really liked TUF Live. I watched this episode too (although I only watched it most of it on Friday, then went to bed and finished it yesterday). But I'm old and lame and have a baby, so I've got nothing better to do on Friday nights. If the could get it on after SOA or Its Always Sunny, I'd imagine the ratings would go way up, at least initially. Frankly, though, as an MMA fan, I'm not sure I'd want this to be someone's initial introduction to the sport - a bunch of shitty fights and guys pissing in each others fruit cups.

The problem with TUF, to me, is twofold: (1) it's just played out and the same shit every season and guys trying to be "characters" to get more TV time (and when they tried to do something different it failed); and (2) with all the smaller MMA orgs getting on TV - from Bellator's deal with MTV/Spike to all the live fights HDNet (or AXS or whater it is now) puts on, there are other, better options for young fighters to get into the sport and make a name for themselves. They're no longer just fighting in front of 20 people in Podunk, Georgia, hoping the UFC calls them about a reality show.
bgoldstein- September 18, 2012 at 7:12 am
@ O Chan: I know you have experience with this sort of thing, so I defer to your opinion. That being said, how can you spin the fact that the ratings are still dropping? Eventually, FX will *not* be happy with the numbers. (Although once the show moves to a different night, that should help quite a bit.) Still, I really think TUF has served its purpose and should be retired. At this point, it's not really helping the UFC's brand. I love MMA as much as the next guy, and I can think of a dozen things I'd rather do than spend an hour watching this show every week.
Anhonestmoose- September 18, 2012 at 6:44 am
Friday nights is where tv shows go to die. I might stay in to watch TUF once or twice, but my social group isn't primarily composed of MMA fans so I'll skip the episode and make some memories I won't remember 9/10 times.
The12ozCurls- September 18, 2012 at 10:21 am
So, what you are saying is that your "social group" is mostly comprised of drunkards and pill-poppers. Where do I sign up and why haven't I been invited yet? That is bullshit.
Anhonestmoose- September 18, 2012 at 6:48 am
Friday nights *are*
J-Dog- September 18, 2012 at 6:19 am
I'm glad they ditched the live format. I think the show flows better and feels more polished with the traditional format.
Anhonestmoose- September 18, 2012 at 6:46 am
With you on that. Plus if the fights go over time (almost always) with the live format my DVR doesn't get the end.
NomadRip- September 18, 2012 at 6:07 am
For a Friday show, it's amazing anyone watches it live. They put it on leading into SOA or some other night, the ratings would go nuts.
O Chan- September 18, 2012 at 6:04 am
The reason why FX is happy with the numbers is because the ratings they get from this show is actually higher than the network average for Friday evenings. In other words, if they DIDN'T have this program, their ratings on Friday Nights would be lower then it is now.
O Chan- September 18, 2012 at 6:06 am
PS - CP, if you're having someone write about TV ratings and the such, could you at least get someone who maybe worked in media and knows a thing or two about this stuff?
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