The Ultimate Fighter: Live episode 2 may have produced disappointing ratings on Friday night with just 1.1 million viewers on FX, but meanwhile Spike TV, the former home of the long-running reality show wasn’t fairing much better with it’s counter-programming efforts.
An average of only 346,000 viewers tuned into see Spike’s ‘Ultimate Fighter: Friday’s’ show which featured re-heated highlights from past seasons.
That’s down drastically from the 653,000 who tuned into last week’s show which was fronted by Kimbo Slice, and is of course a fary cry from just a year ago when new seasons of the show would draw an audience of well over a million each week.
This is the last year that Spike TV have the rights to show footage from the UFC’s library before it moves over as part of the FOX deal, with Fuel TV expected to then be the channel that will utilize it the most to fill out it’s schedule which already allocates 25% of it’s viewing hours to UFC programming.
Spike had been hoping to retain some of the MMA fanbase it drew in thanks to the UFC with it’s current counter-programming strategy until then, before switching to covering rival promotion Bellator Fighting Championships in 2013, but since the viewership is already jumping ship in large numbers you have to wonder how many fans will be left by then.
This should be good news for the UFC, but given the poor start that their new TUF: live series on FX has had there may instead be concern that while Spike’s numbers are dropping, they don’t seem to be shifting over to their programming on FX instead.