Sound the alarm bells people, all is not well with the new Ultimate Fighter: Live’s TV ratings in it’s first season on FX.
The long-running reality TV show mustered an average audience of just 1.1 million on Friday night for it’s second episode, down from a lackluster 1.3 million viewers for it’s premiere a week previously.
That figure makes the episode one of the least watched in TUF history, though the disappointing Ultimate Fighter 13 season on Spike TV did dip to just 1 million viewers on a couple of occasions.
Still, the general feeling when the deal with FOX was first struck was that FX would deliver improved ratings for TUF compared to what we’d been used to seeing from Spike over the years, but so far that’s simply not been the case and that will be a big concern to both the UFC and the network itself, particularly given that the show now has a live element each week which makes it more expensive to produce.
Personally, I felt the episode was actually a fairly good one, featuring a mix of emotional drama, tension between the team coaches and a KO finish for the live fight. I do believe however that any new or casual viewers to the show may have been put off by the premiere episode which opted for a full two and a half hours of live fights with no commentary and an unknown cast of contestants.
It should also be noted that TUF now airs on Friday nights as opposed to it’s traditional Wednesday slot on Spike TV which could be having a bearing on the figures we’re seeing so far as it’s a night when the show’s key 18-34 male demographic are more likely to be out celebrating the start of the weekend.