So far the relaunch of The Ultimate Fighter in a new live format for it’s debut season on the FX channel has posted sub-par tv ratings that have barely scraped the one million barrier at times, but despite that being lower than they were used to on Spike TV in the past, UFC president Dana White says the show is still performing well.
How does he leap to that conclusion? It’s all down to the crucial young male demographic which is coveted by advertisers, and despite lower than expected audience numbers TUF continues to deliver in that area.
“As far as the show goes, it’s a f*ckin’ home run for FX. It’s on Friday nights,” White told the Orange County Register last week. “Friday nights they do movies and reruns. We’re the No. 1 thing in males 18-34 every Friday night. If not we’re No. 2 if they pull something off that beats us. They’re happy as a pig in sh*t!”
That’s a position that the FX channel has never really been in before on a Friday night, so from that perspective it certainly is a reasonable to be cheerful, though despite White’s claims you have to think that they would have at least have expected to keep up with previous seasons of the show when they first brought the series on-board.
White won’t speak for them, but he does admit that from his own perspective he’d like to see the show not only matching, but exceeding what it’s achieved in years gone by.
“For me, I want to pull 3 million viewers on FX,” he confesses, and while he’s happy to say that he thinks that the show’s format is “awesome”, they are looking to make some adjustments to it in the future.
“They give a crap. They care. This is a team effort. We’re doing what we’re doing this season, and then we’re going to switch some things up. We’re going to make this thing work and make it great – if it’s Friday night or it’s whatever. Believe me.” he confidently states.
It’ll be interesting to see what they come up with. To me the format does seem a little stale after 15 seasons, but with the right cast of fighters and coaches it can still be engaging.
Personally, I’d really like to see them do another ‘comeback’ series like they did on season four which saw the likes of Matt Serra and Chris Lytle rise back to prominence.