UPDATED TUF 22 Finale draws 883,000; Prelims 809,000

December 14, 2015

The TUF 22 Finale Friday night on FS1 drew an average viewership of 883,000 viewers via Sports TV Ratings.  The prelims which preceded the main card drew an average viewership of 809,000 viewers.

UPDATED:  via Nielsen the FS1 UFC 194 Weigh-Ins drew 149,000 in the A18-49 category more than doubled last December’s event (145,000 and 75,000 A18-49). The prelims scored 463,000 viewers in the 18-49 category which was an increase of 13% from last fall.  The main card was up 2% (552,000 vs. 539,000) in the A18-49 category from last December’s TUF Finale.  The peak viewership for the main card was 991K during the main event.

The 2 hour UFC 194 weigh-ins which occurred prior to the prelims (6:00pm-8:00pm ET) on FS1 drew 294,000 viewers.

The TUF 22 Finale featured Frankie Edgar’s KO of Chad Mendes in the first round.  The event aired from 10:00pm-1:08am ET on FS1.  The prelims featured Gabriel Gonzaga defeating Konstantin Erokhin in a less than pleasing fight. The prelims were from 8:00pm-10:00pm ET.

In comparison, the TUF 21 Finale drew 691,000 viewers and the prelims drew 470,000.

Recent TUF Finale ratings:

TUF 18 (December 2013):  1.13M viewers, Prelims 938,000

TUF 19 (July 2014): 1 million viewers, Prelims 774,000

TUF 20 (December 2014): 989,000, Prelims 719,000

TUF 21 (July 2015): 691,000, Prelims 470,000

TUF 22 (December 2015): 883,000, Prelims 809,000

Payout Perspective:

The main card did lower in ratings than the past two Decembers.  The main card was the 4th highest rated sports event on cable TV Friday night with the NBA on ESPN drawing the top two spots followed by Pardon the Interruption.  The prelims drew well and probably were aided by the weigh-in show for UFC 194.

TUF Finale 21 draws 691,000 viewers, Prelims 470,000

July 14, 2015

MMA Payout has learned from a Nielsen source that the TUF 21 Finale drew 691,000 viewers on Sunday night on FS1.  The Prelims which preceded the main card drew 470,000 viewers.

The main card on Sunday aired from 6pm-9pm PT and featured Stephen Thompson taking on Jake Ellenberger.  Thompson took the win with a highlight reel KO of Ellenberger.  It also featured the finals for TUF 21.  The Prelims which aired from 4pm-6pm PT featured Josh Samman and Caio Magalhaes.  Samman submitted Magalhaes with a rear-naked choke.  In a show poor sportsmanship, Magalhaes spat at Samman whom he thought held on to the RNC too long.

In comparison to the same event last year, it was a precipitous drop from last year’s TUF 19 Finale.  Last year, the card featuring BJ Penn taking on Frankie Edgar drew 1 million viewers and the prelims drew 774,000.  Obviously, it may be an unfair comparison since Penn-Edgar is a much better main event than Thompson and Ellenberger.  Of course, looking back at the Penn-Edgar event, there were not many other notable fights on that card.  Corey Anderson, Eddie Gordon and Derick Lewis are names UFC fans may remember from last year.

This year we did have Michelle Waterson making her debut, Jorge Masvidal and Dan Miller.  But after that there were many prospects on the card.

Recent TUF Finale ratings:

TUF 18 (December 2013):  1.13M viewers, Prelims 938,000

TUF 19 (July 2014) : 1 million viewers, Prelims 774,000

TUF 20 (December 2014): 989,000, Prelims 719,000

TUF 21 (July 2015): 691,000, Prelims 470,000

Payout Perspective:

Based on the past 4 TUF Finales, you can see the drop in viewership.  Perhaps one of the reasons is the correlation between the show and the final event.  That is, ratings for TUF are dropping which means less people are invested in seeing the fighters that appear on the weekly show in the final.  With that being said, I think having the TUF Finale as part of International Fight Week is a good idea.  TUF is not going away and with the announcement that Connor McGregor will be a coach next season, the UFC and Fox hope it will revive the franchise.

TUF 20 Episode 12 Live + 3 viewership up to 752,000

December 17, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from a Nielsen source that TUF 20 Episode 12 drew an additional 244,000 viewers for a total of 752,000 viewers for the regular season finale.

The increase in the 12th episode of 244,000 viewers brings the average increase in viewers from DVR watching to 275,000. The Live +3 ratings for TUF 20 drew a season average of 788,000 viewers. The live rating for the season was 513,000 viewers.

TUF 20 Episode 12 DVR

Increase in viewers Ep 12

Payout Perspective:

The average boost in viewership of 275,000 viewers is slightly lower than TUF 19’s Live + 3 average of 278,000, but better than TUF 18’s Live + 3 of 250,000 viewers.  It was not the most exciting season although when originally revealed there was a lot of  hope for a new women’s division and the coaches for the show.  Yet, Pettis and Melendez were not over the top personalities that a viewer would tune in to watch.  The TUF franchise is still getting viewers although not at the same clip as we’ve previously been accustomed to on Spike.  We’ll see what, if anything, the UFC does its next go round with TUF.

TUF 20 Finale on FS1 draws 989,000 viewers

December 16, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from a Niesen source that the TUF 20 Finale on FS1 Friday drew an average of 989,000 peaking at 1,219,000 viewers during the main event between Carla Esparza and Rose Namajunas.

The Prelims which preceded the main card on Friday night between 7:00pmET-9:00pm ET produced 719,000 viewers.

The TUF 20 Finale main card provided a boost to Fox Sports Live’s Postfight coverage average 300,000 viewers from 11:48pmET-1:00am.  The ratings post-fight were a 39% jump from last year’s December average.

Last December, the TUF 18 Finale on FS1 drew 1.13M viewers and the prelims drew 938,000 viewers.

This past July, the TUF 19 Finale on FS1 drew 1M viewers and the prelims drew 774,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

It’s the lowest ratings for a TUF Finale on FS1 thus far (main card and prelims).  And while the post-fight coverage may have been up this time around, the viewership was down.  Of course, this may be due to a number of factors including two UFC events on back to back nights.  Also, the previous two events were not on Friday night.  TUF 18’s final card was on a Saturday and TUF 19 (which was the second event of a back to back) was on a Sunday.  TUF 20 did not have as strong a main event as the previous two TUF Finales (18 had Nate Diaz-Gray Maynard; 19 had Penn-Edgar).

TUF 20 Episode 8: 578,000 viewers

November 13, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from a Nielsen source that the 8th episode of TUF 20 drew an average of 578,000 in Live + Same Day viewership.  Based on the numbers, it’s the best non-DVR average so far this season.

In the fight of the episode, Tecia Torres handled Bec Rawlings in two rounds for the victory.

TUF 20 Episode 8

Payout Perspective:

Episode 8 was the most watched show on FS1 yesterday.  It brings the non-DVR average up to 525,000 viewers.  For those wondering, last fall’s TUF 18 drew a season average of 684,000 viewers and TUF 19 this past spring received 476,000 viewers.  American Horror Story on FX (which aired at the same time as TUF) drew the highest cable rating for Wednesday with a 3.6 million average in Live + SD viewership per Television By Numbers. Notably, the NBA game between the Houston Rockets and Minnesota Timberwolves from Mexico City drew 1.6 million viewers. It started in the same time slot as TUF.

TUF 19 Final DVR numbers are in

July 15, 2014

MMA Payout has obtained the final DVR numbers for TUF 19. Although the Live day viewing was considerably down the DVR numbers saw significant gains.

In the end, the average Live/Same Day viewing which includes the same day replay averaged 476,00 viewers. TUF 18 (Rousey-Tate) averaged 684,000 viewers.  TUF 17 (Sonnen-Jones) averaged 832,000 viewers, which was the last season it was on FX.

TUF 19 DVR +3 viewership was up from TUF 18.  It averaged a gain of 278,000 viewers from the live number.  This is up from TUF 18 which averaged a gain of 250,000 viewers from DVR viewership.

Notably, not one episode this season drew over 1 million viewers.  The highest rated show was Episode 6 with the controversial judging ending.  There was extra push from social media on how it was a “have to watch” episode and it just topped out at 973,000 viewers with DVR viewership.

TUF 19 Wrapup

Payout Perspective:

The important number for advertisers is likely the Live/Same Day number which has dipped from TUF18.  While the DVR numbers are great, it does not make up for the loss of live viewership.  As Fox has maintained, its happy with the ratings that TUF is producing and is not just looking at the live ratings when considering its success.  The averages reflect a steady drop since TUF left FX.

TUF 19 Episode 12: 586,000 viewers

July 10, 2014

MMA Payout has learned that the season finale of TUF last Wednesday received 586,000 viewers which was the third highest in the season.  Overall, the season average was 477,000 viewers.

TUF 19 Episode 12 Graph

Payout Perspective:

We will be trying to obtain the DVR number to round out the graph.

Unfortunately for UFC fans, this was one of the more disappointing seasons in the TUF franchise. The fights were boring, not a lot of characters were drawn out and even the coach’s challenge wasn’t that fun.  With the exception of a scoring controversy, there was nothing remarkable about season 19.  The irony is that both finals were action-packed first round finishes.

So what do we make of the ratings.  One thing that stands out was episode 11 registered one of the lowest (if not the lowest) rating ever on TUF.   However, it was the highest rated show on FS1 for that day.  This tells us that despite the decline that MMA fans have seen over the years, Fox execs are still pleased with its performance.  One of the things that Fox has been pleased with is the amount of people watching on the DVR as DVR +3 ratings have gone up gaining 278,000 viewers compared to TUF 18’s DVR +3 average of 250,000 viewers.

It will be interesting to see how TUF 20 is received with it being the all women house. One thing seems to be certain, TUF is here to stay.

TUF 19 Finale: 1M viewers; TUF 19 Prelims: 774K viewers

July 9, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from Nielsen sources that Sunday night’s TUF 19 Finale on FS1 hit an average of 1 million viewers.  In addition, the   TUF Finale Prelims which preceded the Finale scored 774,000 viewers in the 7-9pm ET slot.

The fights Sunday night on FS1 were lower than the previous TUF 18 Finale in December which did 1.13M viewers and the prelims scoring 938,000 viewers.  Notably, TUF 18 was on a Saturday night whereas this finale was on a Sunday night. In addition, there was a PPV the night before.

Coaches B.J. Penn and Frankie Edgar served as the main event for Sunday with Edgar dominating The Prodigy.  In addition, both finals provided exciting endings which was a change from the fights all this season.

The last time a UFC live event occurred on a Sunday was UFC Fight Night 38: Shogun v. Henderson 2 which received an average of 936,000 viewers and a peak of 1.25 million.

Payout Perspective:

The ratings are off the previous TUF Finale but are up from live viewership of UFC events on FS1.  Penn and Edgar were key names that probably got the rating up to 1 million.  The 774,000 for the prelims were respectable considering there were not a lot of names in that 2 hour block.

TUF 19 Episode 11: 366,000 viewers

June 27, 2014

MMA Payout has learned that the 11th episode of TUF 19: Team Penn vs. Team Edgar drew 366,000 viewers according to Nielsen sources.  The live plus same day number is the lowest this season but was the most-watched show on FS1 on Wednesday.

In addition, the same night replay of TUF in the 10pmPT/1amET time slot received 94,000 viewers which up 6% in that time slot.  In the fight of the episode, Corey Anderson defeated Patrick Walsh by unanimous decision.

TUF 19 Episode 11 Graph

Payout Perspective:

The 11th episode is the lowest rated show of the season and possibly the lowest rating ever for TUF.  Interesting that although it pulled the low rating, it was still the most-watched show on the network for Wednesday.  The ratings are disappointing after it had achieved its second highest rating of the season for episode 10.  We will see if it can bounce back for the season finale.  The average for the season is 466,000 (live +SD).

TUF 19 Episode 10: 597,000 viewers

June 20, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from Nielsen sources that Wednesday’s episode of TUF was the second highest rated episode this season with a Live + SD rating of 597,000 viewers.

In the 10th episode of the season, Eddie Gordon defeated Catha Pendred by decision.  Gordon moves on to the TUF Finale on July 6th.

Wednesday’s episode was second to the 5/21 episode of TUF (Episode 6) which was the controversial decision win by Roger Zapata.  The 10th episode was 25% above the season average of 476,000 viewers.

TUF 19 Episode 10 Graph

Payout Perspective:

We shall see if this slight momentum in ratings will mean a strong ending for the season.  It’s clear the live plus same day viewing is down but it appears that the replays have helped.

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