The Ultimate Fighter 20 Ep 1: 536,000 viewers

September 11, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from a Nielsen source that the debut episode of The Ultimate Fighter 20: Team Pettis vs. Team Melendez scored an average viewership of 536,000 on FS1. The ratings are almost 10% down from last season’s premiere.

The first episode for adults 18-49 drew 0.4 and 0.59 for males 18-49.  In comparison, TNA’s Impact Wrestling (9:00pm-11:00pm) on Spike TV drew over 1 million viewers according to Television By Numbers.  TUF 20 aired at 10:00pm-12:00am (7:00pm-9:00pm on the west coast).

In comparing to Season 19, the season average was 476,000.  The season premiere for Season 19 drew 595,000 viewers (861,000 for Live + 3).

Payout Perspective:

New coaches, new tournament format but same ratings.  Despite all of the social media and PR buzz and even a red carpet event, TUF only mustered 536,000 viewers for its debut.  The decision to do more background on the fighters and then just one fight instead of starting the season with all fights might have hurt viewership.  But one would think that this would set up the characters for the season.  As we’ve written previously, Fox execs are viewing TUF differently with respect to its live viewership versus how it does overall on the network (i.e., reruns, DVR numbers).  But, the initial rating has to be disappointing considering the amount of hype the season was given.

24 Responses to “The Ultimate Fighter 20 Ep 1: 536,000 viewers”

  1. LeonThePro on September 11th, 2014 2:34 PM

    The biggest stakes ever on TUF yet this season couldn’t break cable tv top 100. TUF is dead and/or no one cares about WMMA.

  2. saldathief on September 11th, 2014 2:44 PM

    Ego, borrowed money and stupitity will only take you so far!!!

  3. billy on September 11th, 2014 3:20 PM

    Surprising numbers, but the previous two seasons debuted right after Fight Nights. How many people watched the main events of Bisping/Kennedy or Teixeira/Bader? Compare that to the number that tuned in for last night’s UFC Roundtable…

  4. Logical on September 11th, 2014 3:49 PM

    Is anyone really surprised at these numbers? The TUF ship set sail a long time ago and no gimmick is going to bring it back. It served the UFC well in the past, but now it’s only TV filler & It’s time for something new. Plus the big majority of the fighters that have been showcased in the last 10 seasons have not been relevant in the overall scheme of things so why would anyone invest their time in this crappy show and its boring and rehashed generic fights and ‘drama’. Bring your gravestone and shovel and to hell with this POS reality crap.

  5. Saldathief on September 11th, 2014 4:01 PM

    Dana and idiots cant stop the show, they sold the goods to fox, part of that so called 100 mil deal bahahah they have to run that one in to the ground along with everything else, but not to worry!!! they sold out an event in Mexico!! all is well bahahahahahahan
    How much of the so called 100mil was put into the production and promotion of this floating turd of a show?? tens of millions!! but idiots will continue to spew shit out of their suck holes saying otherwise bahahha fools

  6. Jake on September 11th, 2014 4:09 PM

    Is that a home run or a bunt? I can’t tell anymore, 3 years ago that would be disastrous. Today I don’t know, even though it looks like a bad joke people will run in here and say it’s a great number for Wednesday night and it’s the best ratings FS1 had all week.

    I guess if the UFC moves to FS2 and gets 150k viewers per event it’s going to be a great success because it’s going to be the best ratings ever for the network and it will have the best ratings for any sport on the network. That’s the way it works now, instead of trying to bring the ratings up for MMA it’s becoming more fractured, PPV/FS1/FS2/Fight pass.

  7. Andre on September 12th, 2014 2:40 AM

    I don’t know what’s more pathetic. These ratings or the fact that Saldathief responds to himself lol

  8. Chang on September 12th, 2014 7:54 AM

    Women’s MMA gets lots of mainstream media kudos, but not much fan interest.
    Lots of non-fans enjoy the “You go girl!” media stories, but they don’t want to watch men or women fight for real.

    Nascar has the same thing with Danica Patrick. Tons of mainstream press saying how awesome it is to see a female driver, you go girl!, etc, etc — but none of those people are racing fans.

  9. assassin on September 12th, 2014 12:26 PM

    Let’s see what happens on Sunday and if it has any impact for next Wednesday. Big Fox is showing a report after the football games on Sunday at 4:30 pm (EST). Will it get more eyeballs that come back on Wednesday? We will see.

  10. saldathief on September 12th, 2014 8:22 PM

    If Andre could read and understand english he would know that I was responding to Logical, ugh another retard on the thread!!

  11. Should the UFC be concerned with The Ultimate Fighter's slow start? - Awful Announcing on September 13th, 2014 5:00 AM

    […] drew just 536,000 live viewers, the lowest total ever for a premiere (excluding the international TUF Nations […]

  12. D on September 13th, 2014 2:12 PM

    Sal, how is “The Contender” doing? How is “The Next Great Champ” doing? Hahaha. TUF does over 20 seasons, the boxing reality shows flopped and lost money. HAHAHAHA!! How does it feel you fag??

  13. turd on September 14th, 2014 6:24 PM

    hey d i dont think anyone on here was claiming boxing reality shows did well either.

    point is the ufc, continues to decline every single year in ratings and ppv buys.

    the fox deal is the worst thing they ever did,

  14. UFC: What If People Don't Actually Care About TUF 20? | News Japan on September 15th, 2014 4:31 AM

    […] Actually, they were kind of bad. […]

  15. UFC: What If People Don’t Actually Care About TUF 20? | Sports Wonks on September 15th, 2014 4:38 AM

    […] Actually, they were kind of bad. […]

  16. UFC: What If People Don't Actually Care About TUF 20? | Sports Wonks on September 15th, 2014 4:38 AM

    […] Actually, they were kind of bad. […]

  17. TUF 20 Debut Pulls In 536k Viewers For Worst Premiere Ratings in Show’s History - MMALinker on September 15th, 2014 9:50 AM

    […] between them being the perpetually-descending number of viewers tuning in each season. But yes, the numbers are in, and with 536,000 viewers, TUF 20: Easy on the Eyes, Hard on the Face has shattered the record for […]

  18. MMA and UFC live news | TUF 20 Debut Pulls In 536k Viewers For Worst Premiere Ratings in Show’s History - on September 15th, 2014 9:53 AM

    […] between them being the perpetually-descending number of viewers tuning in each season. But yes, the numbers are in, and with 536,000 viewers, TUF 20: Easy on the Eyes, Hard on the Face has shattered the record for […]

  19. whiplashtv on September 15th, 2014 11:13 AM

    I’m more excited for this season then I have been in years. I personally know a couple of the girls on the show, so I guess that’s part of it. I concur with everyone else’s viewpoint out TUF being kinda dead. I think most people underestimate how much people DVR stuff. 80% of my TV viewing is stuff I have already recorded. I rarely watch anything live. That being said, these numbers don’t tell the whole story.

  20. TUF 20 debuts to worst ratings in show's history | Fighthub TV on September 15th, 2014 12:18 PM

    […] this past Wednesday pulled the worst ratings in TUF history with only 536k tuning in according to MMAPayout. The ratings are nearly 10% down from the TUF 19 premiere last […]

  21. The Ultimate Fighter 20 draws worst ratings for TUF premiere on September 15th, 2014 2:01 PM

    […] to a report from, the TUF 20 season premiere drew just 536,000 […]

  22. D on September 15th, 2014 3:39 PM

    Hey Turd,

    I could care less if they were claiming that boxing reality shows were doing bad, these same trolls continue to claim boxing is growing, which is the opposite of the truth, while the ufc is failing.

    The reality of the situation is, their ppv market with the exception of this year because of the countless injuries and Silva/St Pierre not fighting(st pierre possibly retiring), is still strong and is actually growing. Idiots like you(this is probably another one of Tops’ aliases), don’t realize they are actually generating more revenue now, then they were when their ppv buys peaked, because the cost of the ppvs are considerably more expensive now and they have a number of other revenue streams coming in they did not have then, notably the massive tv contracts they have here, Brazil, Australia and around the world.

  23. TUF 20: 5 Things to Look for This Season | Sports Wonks on September 17th, 2014 3:32 AM

    […] that made it the worst season premiere in the storied history of the show. TUF 20 only drew 536,000 viewers which may come as a bit of surprise due to the positive chatter surrounding the show leading up to […]

  24. The Ultimate Fighter 21 Postmortem: A Real-Life Version of The Walking Dead on July 15th, 2015 9:00 AM

    […] an uphill battle from the start. First, the premiere episode drew in 490,000 viewers, down from the 536,000 viewer total of the previous season’s premiere. It’s never a good sign when the debut episode of a […]

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