October 2, 2014
MMA Payout has learned from a Nielsen source indicates that last night’s episode 4 of The Ultimate Fighter season 20 received 577,000 viewers Live + same day. Wednesday’s episode received the largest audience for the season.
Episode 4 featured Carla Esparza as she tapped out Angela Hill in the first round of the fight of the episode.
Of note, this season’s TUF average is up from last season through four episodes (433,500 vs. 530,000). Also, the rerun of episode 3 which preceded the new episode drew 194,000 viewers which is up about 15% above the average of all TUF repeats in that time slot.
Notably, Anthony Pettis was not on the show as Urijah Faber filled in for Showtime. Perhaps I was paying attention more last night, but I thought the background on both fighters was excellent. In addition to exceeding last season’s live ratings, it is also averaging 850,000 viewers in its DVR +3 day adjusted ratings versus last season’s average of 769,000 (through 3 episodes).
September 18, 2014
MMA Payout has learned that the second episode of TUF 20 on FS1 scored an average viewership of 574,000 viewers. The average is up slightly (7%) from the debut episode which aired last Wednesday on the network.
According to a Nielsen source, it’s only the sixth time in the twenty seasons of TUF that the second episode drew more than the debut episode. Wednesday’s episode grew in the important adult 18-49 demo from the first (359,000 viewers) to the second episode (364,000 viewers).
In offering a quick comparison from the start of this season to the start of TUF 19, the second episode from the Penn-Edgar season drew only 320,000 viewers.
Episode 1: 536,000 (on FS1)
Episode 2: 574,000
The good news is that the second episode drew higher than the debut episode for Episode 20. One might have expected a higher bump considering the additional viewing opportunities for TUF 20’s debut episode which re-aired Sunday on Fox before or after NFL Football in many markets. Still, the ratings are better than TUF 19 at this point. We’ll see if there will be additional efforts to promote TUF on Fox.
August 27, 2014
MMA Fighting reports that the debut episode of TUF Latin America featuring UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum as opposing coaches peaked at 7.2 million viewers on Televisa Ch. 5 in Mexico.
The viewer average was not available according to the article by Dave Meltzer. But, according to the report TUF Latin America was the highest-rated show in Mexico in its time slot overall and in the 19-44 demo. TUF Latin America is shown on Wednesday in Mexico and Friday through Sunday in 12 other Latin American countries.
The show will be offered on Fight Pass and Fox Deportes in the U.S.
This is good news for the inaugural event as the continued strategy of exposing the UFC brand through TUF seems to be working in the Latin American market. Obviously, it’s too soon to call the series a success but fans in Latin American countries are taking notice. It will be interesting to see how many fans Cain will draw considering he’s not really a native speaker. Yet, it appears that the fans do not care.
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.
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.
July 7, 2014
MMA Junkie reports the salaries for Sunday night’s TUF 19 Finale which was held at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The TUF 19 coaches were the top earners for the night.
Via MMA Junkie:
Frankie Edgar: $260,000 (includes $130,000 bonus)
def. B.J. Penn: $150,000
Corey Anderson: $16,000 (includes $8,000 bonus)
def. Matt Van Buren: $8,000
Eddie Gordon: $16,000 (includes $8,000 bonus)
def. Dhiego Lima: $8,000
Derrick Lewis: $20,000 (includes $10,000 bonus)
def. Guto Inocente: $8,000
Dustin Ortiz: $28,000 (includes $14,000 bonus)
def. Justin Scoggins: $12,000
Kevin Lee: $16,000 (includes $8,000 bonus)
def. Jesse Ronson: $8,000
Leandro Issa: $15,000 (includes $7,500 bonus)
def. Jumabieke Tuerxun: $8,000
Adriano Martins: $30,000 (includes $15,000 bonus)
def. Juan Manuel Puig: $8,000
Patrick Walsh: $16,000 (includes $8,000 bonus)
def. Daniel Spohn: $8,000
Sarah Moras: $18,000 (includes $8,000 bonus)*
def. Alexis Dufresne: $6,000* Dufresne was fined for not making weight and that portion went to Moras
Robert Drysdale: $16,000 (includes $8,000 bonus)
def. Keith Berish: $8,000
There’s nothing unexpected here as the TUF cast members and the other fighters on the card earned the minimum $8K and $8k to win (except Dufresne who did not make weight and was fined). $150K was the same amount BJ Penn made in his last fight against Rory MacDonald in December 2012. Edgar received a $10K bump from the $120K show money he made at UFC 162.
July 7, 2014
The TUF 19 Finale drew 6,500 for a gate of $835,000. The gate doubled that of the TUF 18 Finale which was held at the same venue. As is custom now, no comps were revealed.
Bonuses were $50,000 each and were as follows:
Fight of the Night: Leandro Issa – Jumabieke Tuerxun
Performances of the Night: Adriano Martins and Issa
Issa doubles up for his performance against Tuerxun. Martins scored a KO over Juan Manuel Puig to earn his bonus.
The TUF 19 Finale was aided by the fact that it was International Fight Week and there were ticket discounts for those that bought tickets to the UFC Fan Expo. It also helped that BJ Penn was on the card. The bonuses could have been given to the TUF winners Eddie Gordon and Corey Anderson. It’s ironic that the last two fights for TUF 19 were the two most exciting the whole season.
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.
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).
June 13, 2014
MMA Payout has learned from a Nielsen source that Wednesday’s 9th episode of TUF 19 received a viewership of 445,000. The rating is a slight decrease from the prior week.
The same night replay at 1pm ET received a viewership of 162,000 viewers which doubled the average audience from the prior week’s replay.
Episode 1 – Live 595,000; DVR+3: 861,000
Episode 2 – Live 320,000; DVR +3: 628,000
Episode 3 – Live 421,000; DVR +3: 723,000
Episode 4 – Live 438,000; DVR +3: 773,000
Episode 5 – Live 417,000;
Episode 6 – Live 611,000
Episode 7 – Live 424,000; DVR +3: 676,000
Episode 8 – Live 497,000; DVR +3: 748,000
Episode 9 – Live 445,000
This week’s fight was a forgettable one in which Matt Van Buren defeated Chris Fields.
White expressed his dismay with all of the fighters as he intimated that this season’s fights have been boring.
A couple things that can hurt a TUF season is the lack of personality in the house and the lack of quality fights on the show. Unfortunately, we are getting both this season. Just like this week’s fight, this week’s episode was forgettable and you can tell that White is upset by this. Usually he talks to the semi-finalists about who they want to fight but this time around we just saw clips of the interviews. I really cannot explain the uptick in the viewership of the replay.
June 5, 2014
MMA Payout has learned from a Nielsen source that Episode 8 of TUF 19 received an average viewership of 497,000 viewers. This week was slightly up from the prior week despite going up against the Stanley Cup.
Episode 8 featured the “Coaches’ Challenge” sponsored by Autozone which actually was a kayak race between the coaches. Despite Edgar’s protests that the challenge was rigged, BJ Penn won the race proving that he is a true Waterman. In the fight of the episode, Eddie Gordon defeated Mike King.
The live rating is a surprise considering the Stanley Cup featuring the two biggest media markets (NY and LA) were going on at the same time and the game went into overtime. We should see a considerable bump from DVR viewership as one might assume many fans of both MMA and hockey recorded the show to watch hockey.
June 3, 2014
MMA Payout has learned from a Nielsen source that the TUF 3 Brazil Finale Prelims airing on FS1 right before the main event earned an average viewership of 560,000. The prelims which ran from 8:00pm-10:00pm preceded the 3 hour main card.
In terms of numbers the Prelims received a demo viewership of 0.35 in overall adults 18-49, 0.48 for males 18-49 and 0.41 for males 18-34.
Notably, the main card numbers were relatively the same with the exception of a rise in males 18-49.
Adults 18-49: 0.39, Males 18-49: 0.57, Males 18-34: 0.41.
It’s rare to see a UFC prelims receive as many viewers as the main card. 560,000 is a good number considering the 2 event day, a Brazil card and the main card occurring later in the evening.