The third episode of TUF 17 on Tuesday night drew an average of 1.19 million viewers on FX and pulled a 0.7 rating for adults 18-49.
That’s down 800,000 viewers from the previous week’s episode and continues the gradual downward trend since the season premiere.
The episode featured a much-hyped KO finish by Uriah Hall billed as one of the most devastating UFC president Dana White had ever seen, but that wasn’t enough to move the needle in the ratings department.
That’s definitely a concern as there’s still a long way to go in the season and they’ve already played what was considered their trump card.
While the current season is still outperforming TUF 16, it’s now posting similar results to the early episodes of the TUF: Live season which eventually dipped consistently below the one million mark during it’s run on FX last year. A similar trajectory for TUF 17 would be hugely disappointing given it’s now in a much more favorable timeslot on Tuesday nights at 8pm and features high profile coaches in Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen.
I do believe that the absence of any real rivalry between Jones and Sonnen has hurt the ratings in much the same way as occured when there was no tension between Brock Lesnar and Junior Dos Santos back at TUF 13 on Spike TV, but I also think that it also has to be acknowledged that for many fans the overly-familiar TUF format has just become stale.
If there’s a silver lining here it’s the fact that the UFC’s other programming on FX seems to be on the up with both the ‘UFC On FX 7’ and ‘UFC 156 Prelims’ live shows claiming in the region of 1.8 million viewers in the last few weeks.
That’s the kind of number the UFC would have been hoping to achieve with this current season of TUF, but for now it appears to be out of reach.
TUF 17 Ratings So Far:
TUF 17 Episode 1: 1.51 million
TUF 17 Episode 2: 1.27 million
TUF 17 Episode 3: 1.191 million