Wednesday’s UFC Ratings highlighted by new TUF low

September 5, 2013

The Wrestling Observer (subscription required) reports the UFC ratings from Wednesday.  The 2 hour debut of TUF received an average of 762,000 viewers while the main card of UFC Fight Night 28 received 539,000 viewers.

According to Television By the Numbers, The Ultimate Fighter featuring Team Rousey vs. Team Tate scored an average of 762K for a 0.4 rating (Adults 18-49) in the 7pm-9pm PT/10pm-12amET time slot.  Duck Dynasty on A&E won the night and the 10pm time slot with over 10 million viewers for a 4.6 rating.

In other numbers, bonuses, for UFC Fight Night 28 were $50,000 each and given to Glover Teixeira (KO), Piotr Hallman (Submission) and Rafael Natal and Tor Troeng (FOTN). (via MMA Junkie).  Although a slow start, UFC FN 28 did well with its three top fighters on the card getting impressive wins.

Payout Perspective:

How many hours of UFC programming did you watch Wednesday?  Of the 8 hours, it’s likely that the most scrutinized was the TUF debut as it pulled out all the stops for this season with men and women in the house and the Rousey-Tate feud.  The women fights were the most compelling.  Also, having the fighters meet their families before the fights were a nice touch to add drama.  FS1 even aired an hour special for Ronda Rousey the day before the TUF debut.  Yet, it opened with the lowest rating ever for TUF.  MMA Fighting chalks it up to growing pains for a new network.  While this might be believable, its hard to explain the 1.72 million viewer debut of the UFC on FS1’s first day. Perhaps its the 8 hours of programming which caused TUF’s low rating as that many hours of MMA would cause fatigue for any MMA fan.  Will TUF gain momentum or will we see another TUF season reaching new viewership lows?

40 Responses to “Wednesday’s UFC Ratings highlighted by new TUF low”

  1. brad60 on September 5th, 2013 9:11 PM

    Thats to bad I figured it would. Then again what the hell do I know. I’ve watched every season of TUF, but not this season. Doesn’t appeal to me. But what do i know. I Admit my opinion isn’t the best. We shall see what happens next week.

  2. Random Dude on September 5th, 2013 9:26 PM

    It looks like the beginning of the end for MMA as a significant sport. UFC will be lucky if this season of TUF doesn’t do as bad as Bellator Fight Master.

    The event ratings are horrible. This event did worse than Bellator 97 (Summer Series on Wednesday). At least it beat Bellator 96.

    I think we can safely say that we are witnessing the fall of MMA.

  3. BrainSmasher on September 5th, 2013 9:47 PM

    I expected low ratings. I don’t think it was a great idea to have so many events piled before TUF. TUF is important and they had 3 free live events and PPV prelims inside 2 1/2 weeks. Why wasn’t TUF debut after Chael/Shogun event? Why not get those 1.7 million viewers eyes on TUF rather than have it follow a weak (strike 1) Brazil (Strike 2) Mid Week (strike 3) card?

    It seems they thought the TUF ratings would pull for the Brazil card. But the Brazil card ended up killing TUF.

    Im not sure how good it is to have prelims on the same channel as the main card. The prelims for this event sucked and when you put the prelims on the same channel they are really 1 long program. But the prelims don’t have the same vibe as the main card. The crowd isn’t in the building, There is no enthusiasm, and the talent and action is poor. I think this turns a lot of casuals away or slows down the growth of word of mouth viewers that cause all programs to gain viewers through out the show. I think the prelims should be on FS2 unless they are for a PPV. Then you know only the hardcore fans are watching them and it doesn’t run casuals off the main broadcast.

    Also we cant expect huge ratings just because the UFC did 1 good number on opening night. We don’t know all the reasons for that and it was still a 1 time thing so far. We cant discredit this being a new network and a new TUf concept. More importantly the first episodes of TUF usually do poorly because the fight to get in concept drags on.

    I felt this episode was great and just the presence of female fights made it more interesting. We haven’t even got into the drama they bring to the house. This was the best “fight to get in” episode they have ever had imo.

  4. aintitthetruth on September 6th, 2013 6:17 AM
  5. aintitthetruth on September 6th, 2013 6:21 AM
  6. Sampson Simpson on September 6th, 2013 7:39 AM

    The ship is sinking… sad to see the UFC work so hard to be at the same viewership level as upstart Bellator. SMH

  7. Machiel Van on September 6th, 2013 9:41 AM

    I love how the ratings for each individual event can spell ultimate doom or success for the entire sport in some people’s minds. What a balanced, long-term, realistic view of things.

    Give me a break, they just pulled an impressive rating on the same channel a few weeks ago on a Saturday night and pulled far better ratings than this last Wed. and last Sat. While that was likely more indicative of the ceiling for the UFC’s FS1 ratings at present (brand new network), this was likely an indication of the floor. They’ll do better, nothing to worry about at the moment. If the entire season of TUF bombs and Fight Night ratings are consistently this low, then there’s cause for concern.

    Fox Sports 1 is a brand new network that draws terrible ratings on average. The fact that the UFC outdraws almost everything else on the channel (did anyone catch the college football ratings? I’m having trouble finding them) by a huge margin will keep them there for the foreseeable future. As long as FOX is happy enough everything is fine on the TV front.

    Some people just love to troll around the internet and spew their hatred of the sport and its most successful promotion. Meh, in the real world the millions of dollars just keep on finding their way into Zuffa’s coffers. But no, let’s just ignore this and pretend that a billion dollar company is on the verge of collapse. Have fun with that.

  8. Sampson Simpson on September 6th, 2013 10:20 AM

    You do know that Zuffa is $500 million in debt right?

    You go on keep believing that the picture is rosy buddy. I mean seriously… Musclepharm as a sponsor? What a scam…

  9. Jose Mendoza on September 6th, 2013 10:34 AM

    Machiel Van:

    I believe there will be an extensive writeup on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 ratings, how the UFC is doing, and how the channel is doing against competitors here at Payout. Should be a good one.

  10. Sampson Simpson on September 6th, 2013 10:56 AM

    That’s the thing with the UFC… there’s been no domestic progression.

    Only excuses (reasons) for why viewership has slipped from Spike, to FX, to FS1/2. Sure the UFC does well for the respective network that it moves to just like boxing did wonders for HBO in the 80s, 90s essentially building the network but it never reached the levels it had seen on network television.

    It’s up to the UFC fan boys to realize that this path is nothing new. It’s been a path well traveled by boxing and we’ve seen the repercussions.

    Openings for competition and a top heavy sport that relies on a handful of names to draw the audience. It takes decades for it to play out but it’s happening right now for the UFC… just like boxing in the 1980s.

  11. CC27 on September 6th, 2013 11:30 AM

    UFC is in decline, no way around it.
    People are bored with the product.

  12. Logical on September 6th, 2013 11:33 AM

    The more the UFC oversaturates the market the more it becomes about the names on the card and less about the UFC brand in itself. I remember there was a time where the UFC could showcase whoever they wanted and the UFC brand name would carry the event all by itself — That is no longer the case and we are seeing the consequences of that.

    Now don’t get me started on TUF, that ship sailed a loooong time ago, last time it had good ratings was 2009 when Kimbo was on it lol

  13. Random Dude on September 6th, 2013 1:35 PM

    “I love how the ratings for each individual event can spell ultimate doom or success for the entire sport in some people’s minds. What a balanced, long-term, realistic view of things.”

    The lower and lower ratings would be less of a problem if they were not a PPV-based company. Since they need buys to do well as a company, a drop in ratings is a big deal that I don’t think can be overstated.

    And given that Bellator and every other organization seems to want to transition to the PPV platform, a decrease in tv ratings for the big organization is a bad sign for the sport overall. Especially true when you consider most of the organizations are running at a loss. I highly doubt Bellator and WSOF events are profitable. Strikeforce was allegedly profitable for a short time before they started competing with the UFC and then were losing money. We all know the Affliction and EliteXC stories. Lower tv ratings are a major problem for an sport that is dependent on PPV to be profitable.

  14. Sampson Simpson on September 6th, 2013 2:06 PM

    There isn’t a great depth to the UFC fan base.

    They have a decent core but the fans that drive it 300k to 800k PPV buys are the casuals. The ones that drive the FS1 numbers from sub million to almost 2 million are the casuals.

    The more product that’s out there, the less the casuals will tune into regularly. This in turn will drive the average viewership number down to only the most hardcore fans. This will then put more power in the big names that drive PPV buys and viewership. This will then allow a company like Bellator to capitalize on this by dangling these UFC names favorable contracts.

    Then as past-prime UFC fighters get these deals that confuse the public as to which organization has the “best” fighters. Then MMA = boxing.

  15. Dr ozzie on September 6th, 2013 3:09 PM

    Love how Dana defends the ratings by saying they were number 1 in male demos and people report it as fact…when it’s not even close to the truth…hope payout sheds some light on this..

  16. Tops of on September 7th, 2013 1:49 AM

    The decline stage is now happening to the UFC….the solution is for them to spend more lol

  17. Tops of on September 7th, 2013 1:53 AM

    “I felt this episode was great and just the presence of female fights made it more interesting. We haven’t even got into the drama they bring to the house. This was the best “fight to get in” episode they have ever had imo.”…..from. B.s.

    “We haven’t even got into the drama”..

    What? Hahaha

  18. TUF 18 debuts to lowest series ratings ever, UFC Fight Night loses 300,000 viewers from week before | Fighters Direct on September 7th, 2013 2:13 AM

    […] MMA Payout commented: […]

  19. LeonThePro on September 7th, 2013 7:42 AM

    @ aintitthetruth and @ Dr. Ozzie …. care to elaborate on your links/posts a bit more for the uninitiated?

  20. LeonThePro on September 7th, 2013 7:47 AM

    So if this was a debut low for TUF… where is the blame to be assigned:
    1) New network
    2) Stale show & format (18th season now)
    3) Casuals aren’t interested in chicks fighting
    4) All of the above

    Has the UFC established if WMMA is something casuals, or even hardcores, are interested in yet?

  21. Sampson Simpson on September 7th, 2013 8:21 AM

    If Dana White himself is on the UG forums, there is no doubt in my mind that Brainsmasher is actually a Zuffa poster.

    No doubt at all.

  22. aintitthetruth on September 7th, 2013 10:21 AM


    basically zuffa has a ton of debt, and due to substanrd accounting aka not complying with generally accepted accounting principals(gaap)defaulted on a loan from a bank. these are the rules that CPAs play by and zuffas was asleep at the wheel. or cma. Probably cma since they are private…

  23. LeonThePro on September 7th, 2013 1:03 PM

    @ aintitthetruth :

    Regarding debt, so do a lot of businesses. I don’t get what that has to do with this article? What does it have to do with these low ratings… what’s your link?

  24. Tops of on September 7th, 2013 1:40 PM

    I thought rousey s media demand was unbelievable according to Dana white……another hype that failed…..hahaha

  25. Tops of on September 7th, 2013 1:52 PM

    Read Dana s latest excuse pr spin on the low ratings from the link above….”We’ve made a commitment to work with FOX to build this network”……….after years of excuses and b.s…..whites credibility is going way down….only UFC fanboys beleive his every word…hahaha

  26. aintitthetruth on September 7th, 2013 2:10 PM

    @Leon: i can see you aren’t quick on the uptake.

  27. LeonThePro on September 7th, 2013 3:31 PM

    @ aintitthetruth

    to give you context…. this is my 3rd time on the website. It’s a super lazy form of posting if all you can do is post a link and not post an arguement or point. So far it’s easy to follow everyone else but you… if you want to make an arguement then do so, I’d be happy to read. Don’t do a 3rd graders job and post a link to random information. Cheers

  28. LeonThePro on September 7th, 2013 3:47 PM

    @ aintitthetruth

    I see you posted about Zuffa defaulting on a loan. If you could explain where you’re coming from and why ou posted those links… that would help. I guess I’m not quick on the uptake 😉

  29. aintitthetruth on September 7th, 2013 5:00 PM

    I move in mysterious ways.

  30. Dr ozzie on September 8th, 2013 8:38 AM

    They weren’t even close to first in ANY demos…by way of example,
    In m18-34 they were 7th behind A&E, Adult Swim, Comedy Central, FXX (not even FX) TBS,, and MTV…

  31. LeonThePro on September 8th, 2013 1:51 PM

    @ Dr ozzie

    DW always “reports” being #1 in key demos… if he is straight up lying, as you claim, then why does he continue to do this and how does he get away with it? Even big sites like report the #1 factor….?

    Is he #1 in something very specific, then exaggerates or embelishes?

  32. Sampson Simpson on September 8th, 2013 2:10 PM

    Maybe he’s referring to being the top UFC program at the time?

    I’m the smartest guy called Sampson on this comments section! Undisputable fact!

  33. Tops of on September 8th, 2013 3:25 PM

    Good info dr. Ozzie….so even in the key demo stats are false….

  34. Tops of on September 8th, 2013 3:27 PM

    Wait for UFC defense attorney/fanboy b.s. to debate that info hahahaha…….

  35. Dr. Ozzie on September 8th, 2013 3:40 PM

    I’m not saying it.
    Nielsen is. Many times when the UFC was on fx they could claim first in male demos, but these numbers are not even close.
    MMA Fighting is not going to dispute their boss.

  36. LeonThePro on September 9th, 2013 6:33 AM

    If the debut episode of TUF only clocked in 762,000 viewers… I’m guessing the 2nd will do less, not more. My guess is in the mid 600 range.

    Predictions ?

  37. Merp DeyDerp on September 9th, 2013 9:49 PM

    The sites I pirate from, female TUF is the #1 streamed show worldwide. People are watching, just not on TV because it’s a dying medium that half the world has no access to and is probably watching it on a phone.

  38. Somebody Please Start Watching TUF 18 on September 12th, 2013 7:11 AM

    […] confluence of factors, combined with the atrociously low ratings the series has gotten, may actually portend doom for the series’ long-term viability. Simply put, the show is firing on […]

  39. LeonThePro on September 12th, 2013 12:16 PM

    I think then the UFC says they’re #1 in key demos they’re referring to SPORTS based shows.

    Not A&E, Adult Swim, Comedy Central, FXX (not even FX) TBS,, and MTV…

  40. LeonThePro on September 12th, 2013 1:13 PM

    I guess I’m wrong… Episode bounced back at 870,000.

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