Top 10 of 2012: No. 9 TUF moves to Fridays on FX; poor ratings move it to Tuesdays for 2013
December 26, 2012
With the UFC-Fox relationship, much anticipation came with The Ultimate Fighter moving to the FX Network. Despite a Friday night time slot, Dana White was bullish on the move.
Via MMA Fighting:
When signing the [FOX] deal more than a year ago, UFC President Dana White talked about drawing 3 million viewers weekly for TUF reality show with the combination of the new network and the fights going live for the first time in the history of the show.
However, TUF 15, which was aired live, did poorly as the ratings reflected viewers turning off the show before it ended. Two seasons on FX this 2012, and White’s prediction for 3 million viewers a week were inaccurate. In fact, the porous ratings have the TUF franchise moving to Tuesdays in 2013. Looking to revive the franchise, the UFC has enlisted Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen as coaches for its Tuesday debut this January.
TUF Live featuring Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber as coaches drew an average viewership of 1.01 million viewers. It was the lowest season average of the TUF franchise (until TUF 16). Also, Cruz knee injury kept the anticipated Cruz-Faber rematch from happening.
TUF went back to taped shows and fights for season 16 which featured Shane Carwin and Roy Nelson. As was the case for TUF Live, an injury forced Shane Carwin out of the TUF Finale. Ratings were poor once again as the season had the three lowest ratings in the 16 season history of TUF. It drew an average of 829,250 and surpassed 1 million viewers for only two episodes.
The episodes and fighters were mediocre. In fact, the most memorable moment of TUF 16 was White coming in to give the fighters a pep talk on fighting more exciting fights. A bit of foreshadowing as most of the TUF 16 cast will not be signed to UFC contracts.