TUF Live Ep. 5: 947,000 viewers

April 9, 2012

It was not a good Friday for TUF Live last Friday as the series scored its lowest ratings ever with 947,000 viewers.  Its the first time the series has dipped below a million average.

It was not a good night for the rest of the UFC programming either as the first episode of UFC Primetime: Jones vs. Evans began after TUF Live. It only garnered 462,000 viewers.  As a comparison, Spike TV’s reruns of UFC content received an average of 408,000 viewers.

TUF Live Episode 1: 1.28 million viewers
TUF Live Episode 2: 1.1 million viewers
TUF Live Episode 3: 1.2 million viewers
TUF Live Episode 4:  947,000 viewers

(h/t:  MMA Junkie)

Payout Perspective:

Dismal ratings all around for the UFC.  Do we attribute the poor ratings on the network change, the change to Friday nights, the content changes or all of the above.  Certainly, some viewers may DVR TUF Live and UFC Primetime although the show overruns make recording the west coast reruns impossible unless you record the whole night on FX.  As we reported last week, the UFC is still where it wants to be on FX based on the demos and overall performance of the network.  But, just like a young team that shows promise, there will be lots of growing pains.

12 Responses to “TUF Live Ep. 5: 947,000 viewers”

  1. Sampson Simpson on April 9th, 2012 4:21 PM

    It’s a tired model and it takes time to build stars.

    UFC will end up like boxing eventually, only a matter of time.

  2. Assassin on April 9th, 2012 6:35 PM

    All of the above are the problems.
    Network change – yes some people are that lazy or stupid and haven’t figured it out yet
    Friday Nights – yes, Friday nights are for going out (younger people), family or activities (older people like me, late 40’s). Also, this Friday was the first night of Passover.
    Content Changes – not so much. The coaches are not really that dynamic, other than Cruz’s decision to let Faber pick his own fighter. The live fight is better, but just a gimmick. It might be time to have 2 fights per show, less “reality” or “jiveality”, and (gasp) have someone call the fight.

    I do find myself DVRing the show more, and the overuns often cut a piece off (which i catch taping it again on Fuel if I have forgotten to extend the taping).
    Also, you have Bellator on Friday and HDnet had Bamma 9.

    I think the biggest problem (other than not being on Wednesday night) is that the level of fighting, while not horrible, is not up to UFC quality.

  3. Rob35 on April 9th, 2012 7:46 PM

    The format is so tired. They show the same lame training season after season and the foolishness at the house. Give me substance on the fighters, introduce me to their family’s and their hot girlfriends or wives. Show me their kids who they are fighting for to provide a better life for them. That would make me take an interest in the fighters and care about who wins and loses. Tell us their hard luck stories and how fighting saved them a life of crime or an early grave. And Jesus let them talk to their loved ones throughout the season to remind them what they are fighting for and to motivate them to win it all. Dana has really dropped the ball on TUF. I am a hardcore fan and can barely bring myself to watch this season. In fact I just erased the last episode from the DVR without watching it.

    And please get someone to call the fights. So annoying to hear the corners yell out instructions that the fighters rarely listen to.

  4. juan on April 9th, 2012 8:43 PM

    The live segments are just terrible. The production values are cable access level. The other guys on the team all are acting weird, maybe cause they know it’s live. It’s just … awkward to watch.

  5. Dfdfdfd on April 9th, 2012 8:53 PM

    Have Forest Griffin lug bottles of water UP a flight of stairs as fast as he can… Guranteed 4M viewers every week

  6. Weezy on April 10th, 2012 2:33 AM

    So, between this show and the TUF re-runs on SPIKE there were a little over 1.35 million people watching UFC programming on Friday night. It might just be that that’s the baseline going forward. On any given Wednesday night, you’d get around 1.5 million people watching UFC reality programming. On any given Friday night you’d get around 1.3 – 1.4 million watching UFC reality programming. That’s probably an accurate depiction of the sports popularity right now in the cable universe. With the % of 18-49 year olds watching, they can bring in decent revenue selling that product to advertisers in the 10:00 PM timeslot.

  7. Diego on April 10th, 2012 5:01 AM

    I agree with Weezy. The universe of fans has not expanded as quickly as the number of MMA offerings. With Bellator, Bamma, the UFC on FX and on Spike and several MMA themed talk shows all competing for the same group you are going always going to be fighting for fans. What we have not yet seen from the UFC’s move to Fox is evidence of significant growth in the fan base. It’s still early, but the trend so far is not encouraging.

    One other factor (perhaps) is that the lack of big UFC cards recently has dampened interest in the sport. When cards are more consistent there is more of a buzz and hence (perhaps) higher viewership for things like TUF and the Countdown shows.

  8. Machiel Van on April 10th, 2012 8:00 AM

    It would be interesting to see the ratings for all of the subsequent replays for AT LEAST one of the episodes this season. Given that the show airs Friday nights, there must be a large portion of fans who record the show via DVR device, as well as a number of fans without DVRs who watch the replays. Established TV ratings metrics need to change to effectively address the way in which people playback content these days.

  9. Machiel Van on April 10th, 2012 2:25 PM

    How long can Dana keep up this PR spin about Zuffa and FOX being satisfied? Do they have to pull less than 500k? Bellator numbers? At some point he’ll have to admit the ratings are a huge disappointment.

  10. Ironbuddha on April 10th, 2012 9:38 PM

    You can’t really sell advertising on FX by pointing out that an additional 500,000+ viewers are watching UFC on Spike.

  11. BrainSmasher on April 10th, 2012 11:18 PM

    I hope that next season will bring something new. I mean with the Live fights, why they still confined to that damn house. The house is like Xanadu. No matter how nice the house looks it still becomes a prision for the fans after 14 seasons and the fighters after a few weeks. There is no reason to hide them. They cant release results since it is live. Lets see them do WHAT THEY WANT TO DO in their free time. Lets see them meet their families, friends, training partners, etc. With the live format the possibilities are endless.

    What i would do is have a season with fighters all from the same local area. That way you can follow each to their home. No possible when everyone is all over the country. Or at least have a challange where the winner gets to fly home for a couple of days and gets immunity from fighting that week. Then you can follow him as he goes home to meet everyone.

    I hope they have didnt do it this season because they wanted to work out the bugs of being live. There will be no excuse next season.

  12. Assassin on April 11th, 2012 6:15 PM

    Wow, I agree with BrainSmasher. It is time to get rid of the house.

    Wednesday night in a hotel in Buffalo. I would be great to watch TUF right about now. TUF on Friday night = Fail.

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