TUF 8 debuts number one in timeslot; UFN 15 beats ESPN and ESPN2 combined in the ratings

Spike TV issued a press release Friday afternoon to trumpet the ratings success of Wednesday’s MMA lineup of two-hour live UFC Fight Night 15 telecast from Omaha, Nebraska as well as the season premiere for the eighth season of “The Ultimate Fighter.

UFN 15 served as a lead-in for the TUF premiere and aired live from 8-10 p.m. ET. Competing against ESPN’s telecast of Major League Baseball and ESPN2’s college football broadcast in the same time slot, UFN 15 outdrew both shows combined in the coveted young male demo.

To be exact, the Spike telecast drew 913,000 men 18-49 and 465,000 Men 18-34. By comparison, ESPN’s telecast of the Red Sox vs. Rays and ESPN2’s Louisville vs. Kansas St. college football game drew a combined 858,000 men 18-49 and 373,000 men 18-34.

Overall, UFN 15, headlined by Nate Diaz’s split decision victory over Josh Neer, earned a 1.6 in M18-49, a 1.6 in M18-34, and an average audience of 1.8 million viewers. The viewership peaked for the Diaz vs. Neer main event with 2.3 million viewers tuning in.

Then, between 10-11 p.m. ET, TUF 8 debuted to a 1.2 household rating with an average audience of 1.6 million viewers. According to Spike, the show was number one in its timeslot on basic cable in the male 18-49 demographic, garnering a 1.5 rating. The premiere also drew a 1.5 rating in males 18-34.

11 COMMENTS
  • Shaun says:

    That’s great news. Hopefully, ESPN will get it through their heads that MMA is here to stay, and they should start covering them like other mainstream sports.

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  • JOe K. says:

    I find it weird that the ratings peak at the main event. I just can’t comprehend not watching the full card. I suppose if your busy that makes but it seems that a lot of people tune in for the main event only.

    Its not like there are imminent title implications from that main event.

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  • KTru says:

    Good news

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  • Steve says:

    definately earned the ratings. although, i dont understand how they know how old the viewers are.

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  • AJB says:

    Steve: It’s a combination of random sampling of those watching, plus statistical analysis techniques. It’s not an exact number; just an estimate (lies, damn lies, and statistics). But since all network numbers are based on the same estimates, even if the numbers are off, they’re proportionally accurate.

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  • Sabotage says:

    I am not sure if ESPN is quite there yet on covering MMA at the scale we all would prefer! Here is an example of why the NFL takes cake…

    This past Monday Night Football game between the Philadelphia Eagles at the Dallas Cowboys set cable ratings record with a rating of 37.5.

    “The game played in an average of 12.95 million homes to an audience of 18.6 million viewers, according to research released by Nielsen on Tuesday.” (http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/spt/football/cowboys/stories/091708dnspo.1470e21.html)

    Oh, someday we all dream of coverage and exposure for MMA similar to that of Monday Night Football.

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  • jdavis says:

    If you don’t have a Nielsen ratings box attached to your tv set then no one knows (or cares) what you are watching. Ratings are a sampling from about 35,000 families(around 100,000 individuals) not a exact number of who was actually tuned in. The statistics have been shown to be fairly accurate but the sampling size is so small that it’s not going to be anything near an exact number. Rest assured the local cable company has no idea what you are watching on your tv set.

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  • ultmma says:

    Does anyone here know of anyone who actually has Nielsen ratings box attached to your tv set??

    Yeah, thats what i thought. I can’t believe TV execs still based most of their decision on such a flawed system

    free mma is always good for the fans

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  • RSH says:

    I work for the unemployment office in Florida and we have many claimants who file claims and work for Nielsen as “viewers” and I kid you not they are all elderly. I cannot recall more than 2 claimants that were Nielsen viewers that were under 50 years old.

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  • White Scott says:

    Uh oh, what have we done?

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  • Robert says:

    For the most people who only tune in for the main event are a majority of the UFC fan base they really don’t know a lot about the sport or the fighters they know TUF and Dana White.So they assume the only fight to really pay attention to is the main event.Their the people who Dana can tell anything to at press conferences or on TV appearances and these people eat it up i’d bet a lot of them have never seen another mma event besides the UFC you know the people who BOO ground fighting and chant USA at an event.

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