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Latest episode of TUF 15 draws series’ lowest ratings yet

The Ultimate Fighter 15 continues to find it’s hard sledding to draw significant ratings on a Friday night. After facing heavy scrutiny all season, the latest episode brought in just 821,000 viewers for this last week’s show. The episode featured two quarterfinal bouts and the live announcement of Urijah Faber-Renan Barao for the interim UFC bantamweight title.

However, none of that could help in terms of drawing in viewers. The series averaged 1.7 million viewers on Spike TV, but has not reached that number once on FX. It was the fifth time this season that the show failed to generate at least one million viewers. The top-rated episode, which was the opener, had 1.3 million with ratings declining since.

The numbers were confirmed with an industry source by MMAJunkie.


  • Lord Faust says:

    Surely more awesome pranks like working out and getting smelly in their other team’s workout room are in order.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • Rece Rock says:

    If they can’t secure high ratings for UFC on FOX in a primetime slot with branded pro fighters on network TV what makes them think they can pull ratings for a Realty Tv Competition show on FX that lacks all of the Reality Tv elements that draws ratings? MMA fans aren’t the only demo they should be shooting for… are the ppl who watch a show like the apprentice only watching because they are fans of marketing and business? I know it’s different but it’s same business goal and that’s to secure decent TV Ratings.

    I know the majority of diehards could care less about house drama and back story on the fighters personas but how does a average sports fan (not a typical mma fan) invest himself into a show thats about mostly semi-pro or amatuer fighters fighting…? If they cared that much about mma fights they would have tuned into UFC on FOX and watched the Pro’s go at it…but they don’t so why would they tune into this show?

    I hate to make reality tv comparisons but these other competition based reality shows maintains a fan base even in it’s ratings downturns by having cast members that the audience can invest themselves into and want to see achieve there goals or even fail miserably.

    I think besides Dana, there needs to be a reoccuring Host (preferably a HOF level fighter) to the TUF series every season, someone the fans/ viewers can see as a constant on the show, some one with a personality.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  • Angry Mike says:

    It would be interesting to see a breakdown on the numbers, including a side-by-side comparison of the demographics for both networks. TUF was a natural fit for Spike given the rest of their programming. I don’t know whether that’s the case for FX, which I don’t watch very often. Also, is FX a channel that’s available as part of the basic package for cable subscribers? Years ago Spike was part of basic cable for Comcast, but I can’t recall whether FX was.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • Lord Faust says:

    The show has run its course. At least the Brazil edition tapped into a whole new crop of fighters.

    If they dropped TUF and ran something like Pride’s Bushido, or Strikeforce Challengers, I think the ratings would improve.

    Reality shows are beyond clichéd, and are at that point where it’s just awkward. Even people like me, die hard MMA fans, are coasting on fumes as far as motivation to watch the series goes.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • MCM says:

    Great point about the “Host” Rece. I never thought of that, but it’s an excellent idea.
    I also think that Zuffa knows most of the problems with this season. Dana has already admitted on Twitter that Friday was a bad choice. And I believe they know that to garner good ratings, they need “names” not just good fighters. No one outside the hardcore scene knew who Faber and Cruz were, but look at the ratings with Chuck, Tito, Rampage and Kimbo.
    It’s still a good show and introduces a lot of new fighters to the world, but they kinda threw the baby out with the bath water when they switched over to FX. Go back to Wednesday night, bring in fighters people know, and lose the “Live” format since it isn’t live if you live on the West Coast (comes on at 11pm on a Friday night).

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • drstu says:

    I would record seasons 8-9, fast forward to the fight and that was all I would watch. I stopped at season 10 altogether. It’s just the same every time, and I have no interest in watching grown men piss in each others food. The entire format needs to change. I agree that the coaches aren’t well known and certainly would account for a lack of interest, but the show overall feels tired.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • AlphaOmega says:

    If they put it back in the middle of the week, and with Chael as a host/coach I bet it’d get a lot of raitings. And I don’t like Chael.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  • Rece Rock says:

    Stephen Bonnar keeps pushing for a coaching stint with Forrest and a final fight between the two…? I think I’d tune in for that.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • Brendhan Conlan says:

    Call me crazy, but wouldn’t it make sense to take eight already-established fighters from two different divisions (so sixteen total) and have two tournaments a la The Comeback with title-shots on the line? Not necessarily top contenders but mid/upper tier guys.

    Not only would the competitors having some name value bring in viewers but it would put real stakes on the line AND make Bellator seem less-special by comparison.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  • Lord Faust says:

    I’d watch it. Hell, I’d even be happy with Bellator style live tourney fights for spots on PPV undercards.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • Kamakosmo says:

    Rece Rock wins a gold star and ‘Post ‘O’ the Day’. Nice going.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • Mad_Hatter_XX says:

    I’m with Angry Mike on this one.

    FX isn’t really a natural fit for the show. I NEVER watch that network except for TUF so I don’t know if they are running spots for it all week long or if it is just the usual crap that is on FX.

    Spke has some dumb, dumb shows but, they also hyped the shit out of TUF all week long. Maybe it is just growing pains from jumping to new network.

    800k + isn’t horrible numbers just not what they were drawing on Spike. I’m sure a lot of premium networks would love to get those numbers for a late Friday evening time slot.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0


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