TUF 18 Finale: 1.13M viewers

December 4, 2013

TUF 18 Finale on Saturday night scored a pretty remarkable average viewership of 1.129M.  In the main event, Nate Diaz stopped Gray Maynard in the first round.

UFC Fight Nights on FS1

UFC Fight Night 26:  1.78 million viewers

UFC Fight Night 27:  824,000 viewers

UFC Fight Night 28:  539,000 viewers

UFC Fight Night 29:  638,000 viewers

UFC Fight Night 31:  641,000 viewers

UFC Fight Night 32:  722,000 viewers

UFC Fight Night on FS2

UFC Fight Night 30: 122,000 viewers

TUF Finale on FS1 (Saturday)

TUF 18 Finale (main card): 1,129,000 viewers

TUF 18 Finale (prelims): 938,000 viewers

Source: Fox Sports


Payout Perspective:

Pretty remarkable numbers for the UFC here. It outdrew any other show outside of the UFC on FS1 debut with less star power and a much weaker card. It also scored the highest prelim rating ever on the network with 938,000 average viewers.

The TUF 18 Finale is comparable to UFC Fight Night 32, which also aired on Saturday night. The big difference may be competition and the Thanksgiving weekend though, as UFN 32 featured much bigger names and only drew 722,000 compared to the TUF 18 Finale’s 1.13M. That is an increase of 56% in viewership between the two events.

The key may have been mainly due to the Thanksgiving weekend, which produced some great numbers for FS1 outside of the UFC.  Friday night’s Oregon vs Oregon St. drew one of it’s best viewership numbers ever, with 2.2M viewers.

16 Responses to “TUF 18 Finale: 1.13M viewers”

  1. duck on December 4th, 2013 4:18 PM

    It might have something to do with the start time as well, this was on later so the west coast would be more likely to watch it.

    I think I remember someone saying MMA is a little more of a west coast sport and I think PPV buyrates dropped when they went on an hour earlier.

  2. Jose Mendoza on December 4th, 2013 4:30 PM


    That is correct. PPV buys and ratings are heavily driven by the West Coast, which is why early PPV and event times struggle… especially during the week.

  3. BrainSasher on December 4th, 2013 5:39 PM

    Any idea what the college football game lead in ratings were? That game went to triple over-time and that usually gets a lot of people to find it to see the ending. The very high Prelims and lack of much ratings gap between prelims and main card suggest the football game lead in may have helped the prelim ratings.

  4. BrainSmasher on December 4th, 2013 5:46 PM

    Some of the ratings are starting to trend up recently for the UFC on FS1. Its to early to tell but it would seem more people are becoming aware of the network. The high rating college football game as well as hyped UFC events are gradually drawing more and more people to find FS1.

  5. Jose Mendoza on December 4th, 2013 6:01 PM


    I will get that info on my more detailed ratings report.

  6. KA on December 4th, 2013 6:37 PM

    Hey Jose,

    Ever find out how the Fight Night 30 replays did?

  7. LeonThePro on December 4th, 2013 7:54 PM

    Remarkable is the right word. This did double the season average and is 2nd best UFC showing on FS1.

    I have to give credit where credit is due and that’s to BS on his prediction, which sounds on point regarding the football game. This seems like the only likely explanation.

  8. JoseK on December 4th, 2013 7:59 PM

    This definitely will bolster UFC’s claim that it’s the UFC brand that matters. Especially the good prelim ratings. Most of those guys had never even fought in UFC before.

    The hard-core fans complain about UFC watering down fight cards. But UFC looks at the ratings and sees that it doesn’t make much difference if they put on no-name fighters or not.

  9. Jeremy on December 4th, 2013 10:59 PM

    As more live event contracts go into effect, FS 1 ratings will rise. Many of the network’s deals were not active when the channel went live.

    Everyone knew the first year would be rocky, but numbers should get better as more sporting events are featured.

  10. duck on December 5th, 2013 1:24 AM

    The FS1 Football game wasn’t in the top 100 cable ratings for Saturday and neither was the prelims, so at least some of the extra viewers came and watched just the show.

  11. LeonThePro on December 5th, 2013 5:38 AM

    It will be interesting to contrast this to a much more name-brand recognizable fight on Friday. To me, UFC FN 33 has 10 x more star-power then TUF 18 and should, on paper, draw more.

    Will it? Doubt it, unless there is some big sporting event that preceeds it.

  12. BrainSmasher on December 5th, 2013 11:54 AM

    The football game was highly ranked teams so maybe it didn’t get the ratings I thought. This Finale did have a lot of hype. FS1 did a great job of promoting it and The coaches did their rounds on many media outlets.

    I think people do not want to give the novelty of WMMA credit. But I think it really carried this event. Not to mention as much as I dislike the Diaz brothers. They do have a following, especially when it comes to free events.

    I think WMMA is appealing. But I also tbhink TUF has turned a lot of people off. So even people who want to see the females are not watching it because its on TUF. I believe the Finale, which isn’t a reality show but an actual event, brought those people back in the mix.

    I do not think UFN 33 will beat this. The HW’s are typically more appealing. But I don’t believe anyone cares about these two guys. It doesn’t seem to be getting the hype of the finale.

  13. duck on December 5th, 2013 12:08 PM

    Meltzer said this

    This was the first Ultimate Fighter finals on FS 1. The season averaged only half the total audience of the prior season on the higher-rated and more widely distributed FX, barely beating 600,000 live viewers on average. But it drew almost ridiculous numbers of DVR viewers, peaking at 306,000 DVR viewers watching a recording of the original airing of the show between Thursday and Saturday nights.

    There is a lot of competition at that time, I think it went head to head with the massively popular Duck Dynasty for a few weeks, even It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia going head to head with TUF didn’t make the top 100 cable shows (although that would have been hurt by moving to a smaller network as well.

  14. DocOc on December 5th, 2013 5:22 PM

    Why are people treating this as if it were a ratings coup? Its like finding an oaisis in a television channel desert. No ones cares about Tuf anymore. Not since season 10.

  15. BrainSmasher on December 6th, 2013 12:41 AM

    Apparently people do care. You are just a fool! What part of 1 million viewers do you not understand? With DVR there more than a million people following each and every episode. TUF has lost some of its luster. But to say no one cares reeks of the typical uneducated comments you attach your name to on here.

  16. Jose Mendoza on December 7th, 2013 11:53 PM

    @KA: UFN 30: Machida vs Munoz on FS2 did 122K live and 92K for the Primetime replay.

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