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.