The latest trick up Spike TV’s sleeve to make the most of their long-term association with the UFC will be to use former fighter Kimbo Slice to help counter-program the new season of The Ultimate Fighter: Live which airs on FX next Friday night.
Check out the programming blurb below.
“Kimbo Slice, the wildly popular cast member from Season 10 of “The Ultimate Fighter” will serve as host for the premiere installment of Spike TV’s “The Ultimate Fighter Fridays” programming block debuting on Friday, March 9 (9:00 PM – Midnight ET/PT). Kimbo will discuss never-before-revealed details of his experiences on the show and provide insight into what went on when the cameras weren’t rolling during the filming of the “The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights.” Season 10 was the highest-rated of all the 14 seasons on Spike, delivering an average of 3.4 million viewers per week.”
It’s a clever idea on their part, and it’ll be interesting to see how it performs opposite the new version of TUF on FX which begins with a two-hour live special featuring 16 preliminary fights. Kimbo was certainly a huge ratings draw for Spike while on The Ultimate Fighter, but while people were eager to tune in to see him fight, will they be quite as motivated to watch him chat about the show, especially given how poorly he did on it?
No doubt some people will be duped into watching this since more than anything else that Spike have done with the UFC over the years, it’s TUF that they have the strongest association with and can rightly claim to having a big hand in helping make it a hit.
Spike TV’s counter-programming against the UFC since the promotion moved over to FOX at the turn of the year has been somewhat successful, drawing in the high hundreds of thousands range, but there are signs that casual fans are finally beginning to twig to the fact that they’ve moved elsewhere, such as last weekend’s ‘UFC 144 Prelims On FX’ show pulling in 1.5 million viewers – almost double what the channel drew for the first prelim special they aired back in January.