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 12 draws 423,000 viewers

July 9, 2015

The Ultimate Fighter 21 season finale drew 423,000 viewers according to Sports TV Ratings. The slight decrease from last week brought the season average to 394,000 viewers.
A replay the same night at 10pm PT drew an additional 27,000 viewers. Thus, the west coast feed not very strong or just everyone watched the final at 7pm PT.

The final episode saw ATT pull out the season victory over the Blackzilians with Hayder Hassan defeating Vicente Luque. Thus, with 3 straight victories ATT overcame an early deficit to beat the Blackzilians in the team competition. In a nice gesture, ATT decided to donate the $200K team prize to The Wounded Warrior Project. While I applaud the donation, I think that the money would have been best served if it was split between a donation and then given to the fighters and coaches. We hear so much about fighters struggling economically, I think they should have taken care of themselves first. MMA Junkie has the story that Hassan wanted to donate the money. Still, I think you have to be practical if your income is based on fighting.

TUF 21 Ratings
Live + SD Live +3 Increase
Episode 1 490,000 704,000 214,000
Episode 2 454,000 646,000 192,000
Episode 3 364,000 524,000 160,000
Episode 4 286,000 415,000 129,000
Episode 5 340,000 512,000 172,000
Episode 6 350,000 586,000 236,000
Episode 7 371,000 625,000 254,000
Episode 8 425,000 566,000 141,000
Episode 9 332,000 467,000 135,000
Episode 10 450,000 613,000 163,000
Episode 11 433,000
Episode 12 423,000

TUF 21 Episode 12

Payout Perspective:

The season posted the lowest ratings ever for the TUF franchise.  Of course, the evaluation of the show has changed over the years since it started on Spike TV.  On FS1, TUF is good content for the network that needs original programming.  We have much more UFC content on the air and the concept of the show seems to change which may or may not entice the casual viewer.  The other issue is that the fighters on the show are no longer fighting for just one shot at making it in the UFC.  It’s clear we’ll see most of these fighters in the UFC, Bellator, TitanFC or WSOF.  Thus, the intrigue of the finality of the fights are no longer there.   With that being said, if you actually got into this season, it was interesting and the rivalries were intense.  Yet, based on the ratings, most people did not tune in.

TUF 21 Episode 11 draws 433,000 viewers

July 2, 2015

The 11th episode of TUF airing on FS1 Wednesday drew an average viewership of 433,000 according to Sports TV Ratings.  A replay of the episode the same night drew an additional 74,000 viewers on Wednesday.

The episode featured a controversial ending to the fight of the show as Michael Graves of ATT defeated Jason Jackson of The Blackzilians via 1st round submission.  It also featured the competition between coaches as they participated in a relay race.

In addition to this week’s episode ratings, the DVR ratings from last week’s Episode 10 increased to 613,000 viewers reflecting an increase of 163,00 viewers.  The average increase per episode is now 180,000 viewers and the DVR rating is 566,000.  It should be noted that the DVR rating only covers the first-run of TUF and not the replays throughout the week.

TUF 21 Ratings
Live + SD Live +3 Increase
Episode 1 490,000 704,000 214,000
Episode 2 454,000 646,000 192,000
Episode 3 364,000 524,000 160,000
Episode 4 286,000 415,000 129,000
Episode 5 340,000 512,000 172,000
Episode 6 350,000 586,000 236,000
Episode 7 371,000 625,000 254,000
Episode 8 425,000 566,000 141,000
Episode 9 332,000 467,000 135,000
Episode 10 450,000 613,000 163,000
Episode 11 433,000

TUF 21 Ratings through Ep 11

Payout Perspective:

Despite having a strong lead-in from FIFA Women’s World Cup semifinal between Japan and England which drew 2.3 million in the 6:41-8:56pmET time slot and Fox Sports Live 8:56pm-10:00pm ET time slot which drew 876,000 viewers per Sports TV Ratings, there was considerable drop off when TUF came on at 10:00pm.  The TUF average is 391,000 for this season.

TUF 21 Episode 9 draws 322,000 viewers

June 18, 2015

The Ultimate Fighter 21 episode 9 drew 332,000 viewers on Wednesday night per Sports TV Ratings.  The first showing of the episode on FS1 was down 22% from episode 8.

Notably, a same-day replay on FS1 at 10:00pm PT (1:00am ET) drew another 72,000 viewers.

In the fight of the episode, Kamaru Usman of the Blackzilians earned a unanimous decision of ATT’s Steve Carl.  Usman now has a chance to fight in the finale July 12.

TUF 21 Ratings through Ep 9

TUF 21 Ratings
Live + SD Live +3 Increase
Episode 1 490,000 704,000 214,000
Episode 2 454,000 646,000 192,000
Episode 3 364,000 524,000 160,000
Episode 4 286,000 415,000 129,000
Episode 5 340,000 512,000 172,000
Episode 6 350,000 586,000 236,000
Episode 7 371,000 625,000 254,000
Episode 8 425,000 566,000 141,000
Episode 9 332,000

Also of note, the DVR + 3 ratings from Episode 8 drew it up to 566,000 viewership reflecting an increase of 141,000 viewers which is way below the average increase (191,000) from live to DVR.

Payout Perspective:

Notably, it’s the first episode where TUF did not have to worry about NBA or NHL playoffs as both are over.  Yet, TUF lost ground in ratings.  Live viewership is averaging approximately 380,000 viewers.

TUF 21 Episode 8 draws 425,000 viewers

June 11, 2015

MMA Payout has learned via a Nielsen source that Wednesday’s 8th episode of TUF 21 on FS1 drew a rating of 425,000 viewers. It represents the third-highest rating for TUF this season and an approximately 13% increase from last week.

In the fight of the card, Hayder Hassan defeated Felipe Portela in a rematch of a fight in Titan FC last October.  Hassan won the fight in Titan FC and won their second fight on the show.

TUF 21 Ratings through Episode 8

TUF 21 Ratings
Live + SD Live +3 Increase
Episode 1 490,000 704,000 214,000
Episode 2 454,000 646,000 192,000
Episode 3 364,000 524,000 160,000
Episode 4 286,000 415,000 129,000
Episode 5 340,000 512,000 172,000
Episode 6 350,000 586,000 236,000
Episode 7 371,000 625,000 254,000
Episode 8 425,000

Payout Perspective:

The ratings reflect a nice trend of increase viewership for the show.  Despite going up against the Stanley Cup on NBC Sports Network which posted 3.9 million viewers, TUF 21 did its best rating since episode 2.  Notably, TUF was the second most-viewed show on FS1 Wednesday as an International Friendly between the US and Germany earlier in the day drew 668,000 viewers according to Sports TV Ratings.  Clearly, the ratings are lower compared to past TUF seasons, yet the show is picking up viewers as the season goes along.

TUF 21 Episode 7 draws 371K viewers

June 5, 2015

Wednesday’s seventh episode of TUF 21 drew a rating of 371,000 viewers on FS1 in the first run of the episode in the 10:00pm ET slot.  The viewership reflects a modest increase from last week.

In the fight of the show, the Blackzilians scored another win as Vicente Luque submitted ATT’s Nathan Coy in the third round.

TUF 21 Ratings
Live + SD Live +3
Episode 1 490,000 704,000
Episode 2 454,000 646,000
Episode 3 364,000 524,000
Episode 4 286,000 415,000
Episode 5 340,000 512,000
Episode 6 350,000
Episode 7 371,000

A second showing of the episode later that night (10:00pm PT/1:00am ET) drew an additional 59,000 viewers via Sports TV Ratings.

Payout Perspective:

The TUF episode went up against a portion of the first game of the NHL Stanley Cup which drew 5.46 million viewers on NBC from 8pm-11pm ET per TV By Numbers.  This week ratings brings TUF 21’s overnight average up to 380,000 viewers.

TUF 21 Episode 6: 353,000 viewers

May 28, 2015

The 6th episode of TUF 21 drew 353,000 viewers last night on FS1 according to Nielsen sources.  The episode is up slightly from last week’s 340,000 viewers.

In the fight of the show, the Blackzilians Jason Jackson defeated ATT’s Marcelo “Grilo” Alfaya via majority decision.  The Blackzilians have now won 5 of the 6 fights this season.

Episode 1 – 490,000 Live +SD

Episode 2 – 454,000

Episode 3 – 364,000

Episode 4 – 286,000

Episode 5 – 340,000

Episode 6 – 353,000

TUF 21 Ratings through Episode 6

Payout Perspective:

The NBA and NHL Playoffs ruled the night with respect to sports TV on cable as the Houston-Golden State game drew 8.8 million viewers on ESPN and the Anaheim-Chicago game drew 2.3 million viewers on NBCSN (h/t: SportsTV Ratings).  The viewership numbers are up slightly bringing up the season average to 381,000 viewers.

TUF 21 Episode 5 shows positive gains in Live+3

May 28, 2015

The 5th episode of TUF 21 on FS1 from last week drew the third-largest DVR +3 rating of the season with a gain of 172,000 viewers drawing the viewership for last week’s show to 512,000 viewers.

The Live + 3 rating average is at 560,200 viewers with an average gain of 173,500 viewers.

TUF 21 Ratings DVR+3

Episode 1 – 490,000, DVR +3 704,000; Gain +214,000
Episode 2 – 454,000, DVR +3 646,000; Gain +192,000
Episode 3 – 364,000, DVR +3 524,000; Gain +160,000
Episode 4 – 286,000, DVR +3 415,000; Gain +129,000
Episode 5 – 340,000, DVR +3 512,000; Gain +172,000

Payout Perspective:

A little better than the last two weeks but the overall ratings are still quite low.  Next week TUF will go up against the first game of the NHL Stanley Cup Final which could take a lot of viewers away from TUF.

TUF 21 Episode 4 draws 286,000 viewers

May 18, 2015

The Ultimate Fighter 21 Episode 4 drew just 286,000 viewers on FS1 this past Wednesday.  It’s the lowest rating this season for the show.

TUF 21

Episode 1 – 490,000 live + Same Day

Episode 2 – 454,000

Episode 3 – 364,000

Episode 4 – 286,000

TUF 21 Ep 4

The TUF 21 early average sits at a lowly 399,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

A game 7 in the NHL between Washington-New York and two NBA playoff series likely spelled the poor ratings for the first showing of TUF 21.  It’s clear that the focus for the network is that series does well overall (i.e., focus on DVR ratings) rather than look at the Wednesday night ratings.  The concern for FS1 is that while it may pick up almost 50% viewership from its Live +SD average, it still is lower than the past seasons airing on the network.

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