October 2, 2015
The fourth episode of The Ultimate Fighter drew an average viewership of 538,000. The average is up from the past two editions of TUF.
Last spring’s TUF 21 drew just 286,000 viewers and was slightly up from TUF 20 last fall of 515,000 per a Nielsen source.
In the fight of the show, Team McGregor grabbed its first win with Marcin Wrzosek defeating Tom Gallicchio.
In addition, last week’s Episode 3 drew 769,000 viewers with the addition of the DVR +3 numbers. It is up 44% from its Live+SD viewership.
The Live +SD average for TUF 22 through 4 episodes is 539,000 viewers.
Per Sports TV Ratings, the MLB game between the Dodgers-Giants (in which LA clinched a playoff spot I believe) outdrew TUF in the 10pm time slot. That game drew 674,000 viewers. The ratings are steady and are slightly up from the past two editions. FS1 and the UFC should be happy but do you think they expect more with McGregor on the show?
September 24, 2015
The third episode of TUF 22 drew 533, 000 viewers on FS1 Wednesday night according to Sports TV Ratings. It reflects an approximately 15% increase over last week’s episode.
In the episode, Team Faber’s Chris Gruetzemacher defeated Team McGregor’s Sascha Sharma. The episode featured a meltdown by McGregor as Sharma did not listen to his coaching during the fight.
|TUF 22 Ratings|
|Live +SD||DVR +3|
Not sure about you, but I like the Conor-Faber back and forth. Frankly, there was nothing special out of last night’s show but I found the interplay between the coaches entertaining.
The top sports cable show for the night was MLB on ESPN as the pennant race is here. The Yankees-Blue Jays game drew slightly over 1 million viewers in the 7-10pmET time slot. TUF came in second in its time slot for sports cable shows as the second game on ESPN, Dodgers-DBacks, drew 557,000 viewers. The average through 3 episodes is 540,000. In comparison, TUF 20 last fall drew an average of 514,000 viewers through 3 episodes and last spring’s TUF 21 drew only an average of 422,000 viewers.
September 23, 2015
MMA Payout has learned that the second episode of TUF from last Wednesday drew an increase of 60% from its initial live airing according to Nielsen sources. The DVR +3 ratings was up to 740,000 viewers last week.
The increase in DVR viewership is up from the first episode’s DVR increase. It was up 15% from last spring’s second episode which received 646,000 viewers.
|TUF 22 Ratings|
|Live +SD||DVR +3|
Small steps, but the adjusted viewership from DVR watching is now better than last season’s average (821,000). However, it still trails last fall’s TUF 20 in DVR viewership (888,000 through 2 episodes). It’s still too early to tell if the McGregor-Faber pairing is helping ratings.
September 17, 2015
The second episode of The Ultimate Fighter 22 featuring coaches Conor McGregor and Urijah Faber drew 463,000 viewers according to Sports TV Ratings. It’s a little over a 25% decrease from the 2 hour debut episode last Wednesday.
The show featured another leglock submission by BJJ specialist Ryan Hall. In the fight of the show Hall, from Team USA coached by Urijah Faber defeated Frantz Slioa from Team Europe coached by Conor McGregor.
Notably, TUF 22 in its 10-11pm time slot did better than the second episode of TUF 21 this past spring (454,000). However, it did not do as well as the second episode for TUF 20 last fall (574,000)
|TUF 22||Live +SD||DVR +3|
MLB Baseball on ESPN did better than TUF in the cable ratings as a game between the Pirates and Cubs that aired opposite TUF drew 765,000 viewers. While the first episode went out to a very good start, it looks like its taken a step back. The interplay between McGregor and Faber is awkward, yet compelling to watch. We’ll see if enough people are drawn to this in the coming weeks.
September 16, 2015
MMA Payout has learned that last Wednesday’s 2 hour debut of The Ultimate Fighter 22 drew a DVR +3 rating of 902,000 viewers which is a 45% increase from the overnight rating.
The information, obtained from a Nielsen source, reflects an improvement from TUF 21’s debut episode this past spring and TUF 20’s debut this time last fall.
The overnight (that is “Live +Same Day”) rating for the first episode featuring coaches Conor McGregor and Urijah Faber drew 622,000 viewers which bested the prior 2 season.
The DVR rating is up +28% from TUF 21 (704,000 – Live+3) and +9% more than TUF 20 season (831,000 – Live+3).
The increase stands about the same as the season average for TUF 20 (which was approximately a 277,000 viewer increase from the Live +SD rating). I would argue that the DVR rating is less important in terms of the impact it has on advertisers. As many know, DVR viewers fast forward through the ads as opposed to live viewers that must watch them. But, as you know from the show, the UFC and FS1 has found subtle ways around that to get sponsors in during the show. We will continue to monitor the ratings and see how if Conor McGregor can turn everything to gold.
September 10, 2015
The 2 hour season debut of The Ultimate Fighter 22 featuring coaches Conor McGregor and Urijah Faber drew 622,000 viewers according to Sports TV Ratings. It’s the best start to a TUF season since TUF 18: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate.
This season, Team McGregor vs. Team Faber, will feature European fighters facing American fighters. The season debut featured the fights to get into the TUF house which would set the rest of the season.
Notably, TUF 22 in its 10-11pm time slot went up against MLB baseball on ESPN which drew 788,000 viewers per Sports TV Ratings. US Open Tennis won the night for sports cable viewing as the Men’s Quarterfinal which aired from 7-10pm ET drew 1.3M viewers on ESPN.
The Live+SD ratings average for TUF 21 last season was 393,000 viewers. For TUF 20 last fall, it drew 513,000 viewers.
Should we be surprised with the good start comparatively speaking? The UFC and FS1 hope the “Conor effect” helps the TUF franchise. It’s really too early to know how this will work out but it will be worth comparing the ratings over the past couple seasons.
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
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.
July 12, 2015
During Sunday’s TUF 21 Finale, Conor McGregor and Urijah Faber were announced for Season 22 of The Ultimate Fighter which will air this fall on FS1. The two are not scheduled to fight as is the usual protocol at the end of the show.
As many noticed during the weigh-in show, the two had an awkward run-in. Perhaps not a coincidence.
The coaches will have lightweights from America and Europe with Faber coaching the Americans and McGregor coaching Europe.
Perhaps also not a coincidence, the television cameras during the PPV caught Frankie Edgar approach the Octagon and shake McGregor’s hand after he won the interim belt. This could be an option if Aldo cannot come back soon. As for TUF, many thought Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate would spark some ratings success. It did ok, but nothing big. Everything McGregor does seems to spark interest so this was a measured risk to put McGregor on this show. We shall see if it can produce consistent ratings.
July 12, 2015
Thompson executed a perfect spinning head kick to end the night for Jake Ellenberger. Usman earned a second-round submission of Hayder Hassan with a head an arm choke. The win meant that the Blackzilians team earned $300,000 with its win over rival American Top Team.
Jorge Masvidal KO’d Cezar Ferreira and Josh Samman submitted Caio Magalhaes to earn the other $50,000 Performance of the Night bonuses. There was no Fight of the Night.
The event drew 4,844 for a live gate of $291,000 according to the UFC at the post-fight press conference. The event took place once again at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. In comparison, last year’s TUF 19 Finale held the day after UFC 175 last year drew 6,500 for a gate of $835,000. Of course, that event featured BJ Penn and Frankie Edgar in the main event. Also, last year included a ticket discount for those that bought UFC Fan Expo passes. Not sure if they offered the same this year.
Wonderboy had the KO of the weekend with his spinning kick on Ellenberger. As for the gate, the main event was rumored to feature Benson Henderson taking on Michael Johnson. However, an undisclosed injury by Henderson forced him out of the potential matchup. Ellenberger-Thompson and the TUF participants probably did not excite enough people to stay another night to go to the event.
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|
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.