TUF Live Finale on FX: 1M, Fuel: 165K

June 4, 2012

MMA Junkie reports the ratings for TUF Live Finale on FX and Fuel.  The main card received 1 million viewers while the prelims on Fuel scored 165,000 viewers.

The ratings for the prelims on Fuel TV were an all-time high as it produced the most-watched Friday prime time in FUEL TV history.  The prelims garnered a peak of 241,000 viewers during the two hour broadcast.

The FX broadcast rating ranked 7th out of 8 UFC broadcasts on the network.  The highest rated UFC broadcast on the network was UFC 145 Prelims which received  an average of 1.6 million viewers.

Payout Perspective:

Good and mixed news.  The good news is that the prelims on Fuel TV were well received which is a surprise considering the fact that the prelims featured TUF Live fighters.  It did see the FOTN in Lawrence/Cofer.  As for the mixed news.  The main card on FX, the ratings, although higher than the past couple weeks, seem to be in line with the whole season:  a ratings disappointment. This season saw series low dips as it transitioned from Spike TV to FX and from Wednesday to Friday nights.  This low ratings this season is not necessarily bad news but we will see what the UFC and Fox will do to enhance TUF to increase interest.

17 Responses to “TUF Live Finale on FX: 1M, Fuel: 165K”

  1. Diego on June 5th, 2012 6:44 AM

    The UFC breaks records when it’s a big fish in a little pond, but struggles in the ocean of content that is FX and Fox.

  2. Machiel Van on June 5th, 2012 6:56 AM

    Will TUF be able to move away from Fridays next season? Dana has recently given another ratings cop-out, blaming the fact taht FX had already laid out all their programming for the year (thus leading to the crappy Friday night placement), so wouldn’t that remain true in the fall (although this goes against a lot of things I’ve learned about when and how often TV networks lay out their programming)? So if Dana is actually telling the truth, won’t TUF be relegated to the Friday night grave slot for at least one more season?

  3. BrainSmasher on June 5th, 2012 3:12 PM

    Diego on June 5th, 2012 6:44 AM

    The UFC breaks records when it’s a big fish in a little pond, but struggles in the ocean of content that is FX and Fox

    lol that doesnt even make sense. Do you think the people watching Fuel cant get the other cable channels that FX was competing with? This increase shows 1 of three things. 1. The increase is a fluke. 2. More people are subscribing to Fuel. 3. More people who have Fuel are finding out where it is and when the UFC is on.

    We do know that prelims on Spike or FX can easily do 1 million viewers. So if Fuel was availible to everyone they would get 1 million also. It just comes down to who gets it. So i think the increase shows more poeple are getting Fuel. Everyone who gets it is very happy with it. You cant beat the UFC content you get for the price. So the fact that they are getting better and better ratings is what we all knew was the most important thing anyway rather than what te rating is.

    The FX rating was not to good at all. But you cant expect people to tune int to watch fighters from TUF Live when people were jumping ship at a record speed durign the season. They were lucky they pulled better than the last few episodes of TUF. But you cant expect people to watch the finale when they clearly didnt care about anyone on the show.

    I wish they would just pick a few prospects to follow for a season and build those guys rather than 16 guys 12 of which suck and the ones who dont it takes you 10 weeks to spot.

  4. ABCD on June 6th, 2012 12:23 AM

    The FX ratings are horrible

    The most recent TUF Finale, the TUF 14 Finale, averaged 2.5 million viewers on Spike TV this past December on the strength of a Michael Bisping vs. Jason “Mayhem” Miller headliner. A season prior, the TUF 13 Finale averaged 1.8 million viewers. From seasons 10 through 14, the finales averaged 2.2 million viewers.


  5. chris on June 6th, 2012 5:59 AM

    the ufcs ratings on fx are pathetic

  6. Diego on June 6th, 2012 9:17 AM

    “lol that doesnt even make sense.”

    Really? Did it make you laugh out loud?

    It makes perfect sense. The UFC has a group of hardcore fans who will watch UFC shows no matter what channel they are on. As long as UFC content is on channels like Versus, Ion and Fuel, they will set viewership records for that channel, because regular viewership is so low.

    When you put the UFC on bigger networks – say Fox or FX – the number of hardcores who are tuning in do not have as much of an impact on the overall viewership number.

  7. Diego on June 6th, 2012 9:30 AM

    Here’s a numerical example and before anyone gets their UFC-brand panties in a bunch let me state that the numbers are purely hypothetical.

    Let’s say that there are 150,000 fans who will tune in for a certain UFC prelim and 500,000 who will tune in for a free-on-TV main card no matter what channel it’s on (as long as they have it obviously)

    If you show the prelims on Fuel, you’ll get around 150k viewers (some may not have the channel), plus non-hardcores who may tune in. For a network used to 15k viewers, that’s a huge, record breaking increase.

    If you show the prelims on FX or Fox, that 150k number is a rounding error in their usual viewership number and you really have to rely on the non-hardcores to tune in.

    The same thing goes for main cards. Put it on Fuel and you get a whopping 500k viewers + the non-harcores. A huge, pop-the champagne, send out the press release kind of result – even though you’re probably not breaking the million viewer mark.

    Put that card on FX or Fox, and again you are struggling for a good viewership number and have to hope that a lot of non-hardcores tune in to take you over the million mark.

    We keep celebrating the results on Fuel as if they meant something, but it’s the overall viewership that we should care about. Where we have seen the UFC struggle this year, is in getting non-hardcore fans to tune in. They can keep breaking records on Fuel, and if that makes Fox happy and keeps them writing big checks, then great, but Fuel is not doing much to grow the brand or the sport.

  8. Diego on June 6th, 2012 9:39 AM

    “We do know that prelims on Spike or FX can easily do 1 million viewers. So if Fuel was availible to everyone they would get 1 million also. It just comes down to who gets it. So i think the increase shows more poeple are getting Fuel. Everyone who gets it is very happy with it. ”

    I think that’s true only for UFC fans. Without a doubt the UFC is the premier content on Fuel and any increase in viewership or households should be rightly attributed to UFC content. However, FX is in 90M homes, and Fuel in 26M homes. You are not going to make up that gap relying on fans of the UFC. Fuel is not going to grow into FX on the back of the UFC for the simple reason that FX did not grow on the back of the UFC. FX grew based on sitcoms and movies and the UFC is nowhere near the top of the list of most viewed programs on FX.

    So again, the UFC can be the premier content on a small channel and keep setting small channel records, but it doesn’t really mean anything in terms of the larger picture of gaining overall market share in the sports entertainment world.

    The UFC is leading people to Fuel. Fuel is not leading people to the UFC.

  9. Sampson Simpson on June 6th, 2012 12:59 PM

    FuelTV is in 26M homes.

    HBO is in roughly the same.

    If HBO Boxing pulled in the same ratings as the UFC on FuelTV, HBO would cut boxing in the blink of an eye. Think about it.

  10. BrainSmasher on June 6th, 2012 4:27 PM


    The UFC needs their content to get to UFC fans. I agree Fuel isnt create mant new fans at all. No one is claiming that. BUt the UFC spends millions of dollars promoting fighters with Ads, Prime Time, Countdowns, etc that are not geared towards creating fans but to entice UFC fans to buy a PPV that they may not have other wise done. everyone watching Fuel maybe already UFC fans but seeing the fighters more or fights they have missed is how people start following a fighter or get interest in a later match up. Not everything is about creating new fans. What is the point of creating new fans if you dont do anything to get them to buy a fight when they are fans. UFC needs a outlet to get its PPV trailers and advertisements to the people who are watching and buying PPVs. Fuel is good for this and getting better and better each time. Fuel doesnt have to get Spike Tv for FX numbers. They are subscription based. They make more money with much less viewers. Also you cant factor in Fuel rating as something negative against the Fox deal because almost everything on Fuel is bonus material they would not be aired at all if they were stil on Spike. Look up how many free events the UFC has done in 6 months under the fox deal and compare that to what they did each year on Spike. We get more than twice as many free events. Remember why the UFC was forced to go to Ion and Verses. It was because they couldnt get Prelims on Spike. So when you see 160,000 viewers on Fuel and a peak of 241,000. Thats is a quarter of a million viewers that saw the UFC, the fighters, and the advertisements for a prelim fights that more tha likely would not have been seen at all under the Spike deal.

  11. BrainSmasher on June 6th, 2012 4:39 PM


    You are really going to try and compare the level of boxers on HBO to the no name prelims the UFC drew this 160,000 with? LOL

    The guys on HBO are high level guys. Ussually the guys outside of the 5 or so who can even sell a PPV. You are going to compare that to the 8-12th fight on a free Fight Night card.

    Also HBO is expensive. People go out of their way to watch it just to ge ttheir monies worth. I have Showtime. I go out of my way on the dial and hope to find something on there and will ussually settle for the best of the 4 showtimes i have. Just so i can justify paying for it. Fuel is part of the package i already had long before the UFC. Few of the 36M feel they are throwing money away of they dont watch Fuel. Thats isnt the case for HBO. This is why Strikeforce was able to do such good ratings on there while WEC and everyone else on cable didnt do so well. HBO has subscribers who sit on the network and watch almst everything that comes on.

  12. BrainSmasher on June 6th, 2012 5:01 PM

    Here are some boxing numbers i got from “Badlefthook”.

    This is ESPN2 Friday Night fights. This is a huge sports netowork and some fo their ratings are in line with Bellator. Only a few are respectable.

    Ruslan Provodnikov vs Mauricio Herrera

    Peter Manfredo Jr vs Daniel Edouard

    Chris Arreola vs Joey Abell

    Sergio Mora vs Brian Vera

    Antonin Decarie vs Shamone Alvarez

    Fernando Guerrero vs Derrick Findley

    Ismayl Sillakh vs Yordanis Despaigne

    Brad Solomon vs Demetrius Hopkins

    Erislandy Lara vs Carlos Molina

    Breidis Prescott vs Bayan Jargal

    Kendall Holt vs Julio Diaz

    Jesus Gonzales vs Francisco Sierra

    Pawel Wolak vs Delvin Rodriguez

    Anthony Dirrell vs Kevin Engel

    Lamont Peterson vs Victor Cayo

    Here is the link. It has lots of boxing ratings fron ESPN, HBO, Showtime, and PPV buys of some events all from 2011. Good info to keep on hand. Maybe someone at MMApayout will like to have it. Also interesting to see a Boxing blogger/journalist claim PPVs and ratings in boxing are lots of times inflated by the promoter and that rating and PPV buys are almost impossible to find. Ironic!!!


  13. Mr. Snrub on June 6th, 2012 11:05 PM

    Difference is ESPN FNF has a budget of 25-50k per show. Fox is paying more then HBO and Showtime (combined) pay for their annual boxing budget.

  14. chris on June 7th, 2012 3:49 AM

    you right about that mr snrub, for what they are getting paid the ufcs ratings suck

    i woneder how long fox will put up with there crappy ratings

  15. Diego on June 7th, 2012 5:56 AM

    Friday Night Fights is a small boxing show on…wait for it… Friday night. That means they are on at the worst possible time for ratings. Yet the ROI of that show is probably among the highest in the business considering how small their budget is. I don’t know how those viewership numbers translate into ratings, but Bellator has not come close to matching those viewership numbers. Maybe when the get on Spike they can aspire to those numbers. If they can consistently get 500k viewers to tune in I would say that’s a huge success for Bellator relative to where they are now.

    I would say those numbers are respectable considering the FNF budget (as specified by the esteemed Mr. Snrub) and the names involved.

  16. BrainSmasher on June 7th, 2012 3:36 PM

    It doesnt matter what the budget is. Fact is there is very little boxing on tv and when it is on there isnt a demand to watch it. The guys fighting on FNF are pretty high level in the world of boxing when you count all the guys who get to fight on tv at all. How many boxers fight on national tv in a years time? 50? 100? Its not many and most of those are FNF. You take away Friday Night Fights and you might have 50 guys on tv in a given year. You guys are trying to compare these top 100 boxers in regards to air time to the 400th MMA fighter that we see on Prelims.

    You guys dont want to compare apples to apples. With the little boxing that is on they have had shows draw 300K fans on one of the largest sportds networks in the world in 100 million homes. Fuel is in a fraction of homes and using much lower level fighters and almost getting this numbers. A fair comparision is to compare FNF’s with FX Fight Nights. Compare HBO to UFC on FOX and PPV to PPV.

    To be honest outside UFC on FOX 1 the talent of the FOX events have been about what you see on HBO boxing. Guys who are just short of being a PPV headliner. So when someone says Boxing would be canceled if they drew numbers like that on HBO. Of course they would because HBO is using the best guys in the sport of boxing. There are only like 10 guys in all the weight class’ who fight on PPV each year. The rest are on HBO. Lots of top ranked guys and champions. There is no champions fighting on Fuel.

  17. chris on June 9th, 2012 5:31 PM

    the ufc is getting 100 million per year, if there ratings continue to suck like they have been something will happen

    i bet the fox execs are not to happy with the ufc putting b talent on there fox cards.

    the next show ufc on fox 4 is going to tank in the ratings again what excuse will you

    have made up for that failure

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