The Ultimate Fighter's ratings drop slightly despite top knockout
Tuesday night’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter reality show delivered a 0.92 rating and 1,191,000 viewers, a six percent drop from the prior week.
The season remains the highest rated of the three seasons on FX, but with the move to Tuesday and higher profile coaches in Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen, that should have been the case. It’s slightly behind the pace of the lowest rated seasons on Spike.
The most significant sports competition was a college basketball game on ESPN that did 2.42 million viewers. The show improved slightly on its movie lead-in that did 1.09 million viewers.
Ratings are still higher than usual, but the traditonal decline from the start of the season has begun. It's nothing bad to write home about. It's going to happen regardless. And to be honest, I think this mark is where this season is going to hover for the remainder of it.
Ratings report: UFC sets FX viewership record with UFC 156 prelims
Saturday’s UFC 156 prelims drew 1,897,000 viewers, topping the previous UFC on FX record of 1,860,000 viewers set two weeks earlier for the Vitor Belfort vs. Michael Bisping card from Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The number was a huge increase from the prelims on FX on Jan. 26 before the FOX network special from Chicago’s United Center which did 1,208,000 viewers.
The largest previous audience on FX for prelims before a big show came on July 7 when the UFC 148 prelims did 1.8 million viewers. But that was to be expected, since there was more interest in UFC on that day with the Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen middleweight title rematch than any day over the past two years.
So a new level for ratings was set with Evan Dunham vs. Gleison Tibau as the featured fight. Was this reason? No. For the first time since UFC 154, the UFC's marketing team was going balls to the wall.
I'm not sure how much of the prelims crowd transitioned over to the PPV as those numbers are weird sometimes, but I'm willing to bet it made somewhat of a difference. PPV buys from the Super Bowl weekend shows are traditionally strong regardless.
Dana White has said that the UFC marketing machine will be going all out for Ronday Rousey's debut and I'm excited to see what they can do. The promo they released over the weekend is a good start.
The Ultimate Fighter: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen opened to the series’ strongest ratings ever since making the move to FX last January.
The third season on FX opened to 1.51 million viewers.
We’re only two episodes into the TUF 17 season, but the early returns are good. The second week of the series held strong at 1.3 million viewers in the follow-up to last week’s two-hour season premier.
The ratings are an obvious improvement over the past few seasons already but it remains to be seen what exactly the jump in ratings can be attributed to. Is it the star power of coaches Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen, or is it the style of filming that is drawing in viewers?
The preliminary ratings for UFC on Fox 6 have been returned, and according to a report from TVByTheNumbers.com, the show headlined by flyweights Demetrious Johnson and John Dodson actually pulled in the third highest viewership yet for a UFC on Fox card.
Nearly 3.78 million viewers (3.7766 to be exact) on average watched the two-hour long broadcast that featured Johnson vs. Dodson in the main event, as well as the farewell fight for Quinton “Rampage” Jackson as he lost to Glover Teixeira in what should likely be his last trip to the Octagon.
The ratings signify a 13-percent increase from the numbers returned for the UFC on Fox 5 card in December.
Now that the UFC has dedicated themselves to putting together fun and exciting cards with some value for the FOX shows, the ratings are starting to steadily improve.
I'm a big fan of putting title fights on network TV. Even though you likely won't see GSP and Anderson Silva on FOX anytime soon, the non-marquee divisions will slowly gain respect and star power through all of the eyeballs they are catching.