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 21 Episode 3 draws 364,000 viewers

May 7, 2015

The third episode of TUF 21 drew just 364,000 viewers for its third episode airing Wednesday per Sports TV Ratings.  The episode drew a 0.2 rating with adults 18-49.

For comparison sakes, the third episode of TUF 20 drew 433,000 viewers.

TUF 21

Episode 1 – 490,000 live + Same Day

Episode 2 – 454,000

Episode 3 – 364,000

The TUF 21 early average sits at 436,000 viewers.

TUF 21 Episode 3

Payout Perspective:

The NBA and NHL Playoffs topped the sports TV ratings on cable.  We’ll have more analysis on the numbers in the coming days but it’s clear that viewers are not tuning in…or are setting their DVR.  We shall see how the DVR progress through the season.


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 12: 508,000

December 11, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from a Nielsen source that last night’s regular season finale of TUF 20 scored 508,000 viewers.  The adult 18-49 was steady with 336,000 viewers for the 12th and final episode of the season.

The 336,000 viewers in the adult 18-49 demo was the season average.  The season average (overnight viewership ratings) for TUF 20 drew to 515,000 viewers.

Episode 1: 536,000

Episode 2: 574,000

Episode 3: 433,000

Episode 4: 577,000

Episode 5: 509,000

Episode 6: 500,000

Episode 7: 494,000

Episode 8: 578,000

Episode 9: 381,000

Episode 10: 534,000

Episode 11: 532,000

Episode 12: 508,000

TUF 20 Episode 12

In the finale, Carla Esparza (the No. 1 ranked woman in the house) defeated Jessica Penne via Unanimous Decision.  In the other semifinal, Rose Namajunas defeated Randa Markos via submission.  It will be Esparza-Namajunas on Friday night.

Notably, the CM Punk interview which occurred after the episode on Fox Sports Live drew 182,000 viewers.  According to a Nielsen source, the viewership for FSL was up 147% in the adult 18-49 demo with 136,000 viewers versus the 55,000 average.

Payout Perspective:

Disappointing for the end of the season for TUF which featured the two semifinal fights.  Despite some good fights, the ratings did not reflect the quality.  Sounds fairly familiar to the last couple seasons.  TUF 20 last night was really the lead-in to the Phil (“CM Punk”) Brooks interview.  Fox Sports Live sported very good ratings due to the interview which reflects the fact that Brooks has produced that “curiosity” buzz and it looks like the UFC may have done well with its calculated risk.

TUF 20 Episode 11 up to 724,000 viewers

December 10, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from a Nielsen source that the 11th episode of TUF 20 last week drew an adjusted Live plus 3 viewership of 724,000 viewers.  The bump in viewers watching the 11th episode on their DVRs was the lowest of this season.

TUF 20 Episode 11 DVR

Increase in viewers from Live +3

UPDATE:  For those wondering, TUF 19 DVR +3 ratings were 278,000, TUF 18 DVR +3  ratings were 250,000

Payout Perspective:

It’s a little disappointing to see a decrease in the DVR viewership as the season draws to a close.  One would think that more people would want to see the fights as the end draws near.  As it is, the average viewership increase is approximately 278,000 viewers which is in line with last season’s.

TUF 20 Episode 11: 532,000 viewers

December 8, 2014

MMA Payout has learned that the penultimate episode of TUF 20 drew an average viewership of 532,000 viewers in its first showing (7pmPT/10pmET) on Wednesday on FS1 per a Nielsen source. The episode brought the season 20 average to 514,000 viewers.

There were two fights on the 11th episode. First, Carla Esparza defeated Tecia Torres and will face Jessica Penne in the semifinals. Also, Rose Namajuna submitted Joanne Calderwood and will face Ronda Markos in the other semi.

In the adult 18-49 demo, the episode drew 365,000 viewers which is 10% over the season average of 333,000.

The same episode which aired the same night 10pmPT/1amET) drew 81,000 viewers. It did draw up almost 30% in the adult 18-49 demo (71,000 versus 55,000). One might infer that younger people in the demo watching live on the west coast or are night owls for watching TUF at 1am.

TUF 20 Episode 11

Payout Perspective:

As we near the end of another season of TUF, we note that this season will do better than the BJ Penn-Frankie Edgar season of last spring but will not do as well as Rousey-Tate last year. The viewership has been steady this season and has received a nice bump with DVR ratings. But, if you watched the weigh-ins on Friday, you wonder where that spark between Anthony and Gil were during the filming of the season.

TUF 20 Episode 10 Live + 3 numbers up to 821,000 viewers

December 3, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from a Nielsen source that the Live +3 ratings for last week’s TUF 20 episode drew up to 821,000 viewers.

Episode 10 saw a 54% increase in viewership with the adjusted numbers. It was an increase of 287,000 viewers from its overnight rating.

TUF 20 Episode 10 DVR

Payout Perspective:

The updated ratings bring the Live +3 ratings up to 796,000 viewers.  The average viewership rise from the DVR is 284,000.  The ratings increase is the largest since Episode 3 which may be due to the Thanksgiving Holiday.

TUF 20 Episode 10: 534,000 viewers

December 1, 2014

MMA Payout has learned from a Nielsen source that last week’s episode of TUF 20 on FS1 drew 534,000 viewers which is a 4% increase over the season average.

The episode featured Jessica Penne defeating Aisling Daly in the fight of the show.  It also was the annual Harley Davidson visit and also featured a Connor McGregor cameo.

TUF 20 Episode 10

Among adults 18-49, it was up 3% over the season average with 341,000 viewers in that demo.  the season average is 332,000.  The repeat on the same night 10pm PT/1am ET drew 108,000 viewers and 65,000 in the adults 18-49 demo.

The live season average is now 512,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

We are starting to see college basketball running over into TUF’s time slot.  This time the Big East game ran over into the TUF time slot.  It’s unlikely to matter with the overall rating but might confuse those trying to DVR the show.  For a show running on a night when many were traveling, the ratings  were up from Episode 9.



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