The Ultimate Fighter: Live’s debut season on FX hasn’t exactly gone according to plan with ratings slumping to an all-time low over the course of eight episodes so far, but despite some observers suggesting that it’s new Friday night timeslot is to blame, the network has stated that they’ll continue with it for the remainder of the year.
“We’re going to stick with Friday nights for the fall season, and we do have a strong belief that Friday nights will in fact become quite successful for The Ultimate Fighter,” FX’s Vice President Chuck Saftler tells MMAjunkie in a new interview.
However, Saftler admits that they will continue to monitor the ratings and haven’t ruled out the possibility of changing the day it’s aired in the future.
“We’ll also be very self-honest about the results that we see, and we will do what we do with all problems, which is constantly evaluate the results. If we don’t see these results get better, then we’re going to look at what other options are out there. But right now, we still have a strong belief that Friday night is a great night to watch this program and to experience the UFC much in the same way that Saturday night has grown into a fantastic night for the UFC, as well.”
Recently UFC president Dana White indicated that changes will be made to the show to help improve it’s performance, but Saftler indicates that nothing is set in concrete just yet and they’ll wait to evaluate what went right and what went wrong with the season once it’s concluded.
However, Saftler does make it clear that he doesn’t believe that the new ‘live’ portion of the show will be scrapped.
“I don’t think the live elements are going anywhere because they do work so nicely, and they do give a tremendous relevance to the show. I think when you know it’s happening then and there, it just makes the show that much more interesting and that much more timely and that much more compelling to have to see,” he says.