‘Ultimate Fighter’ Scores for FX


FX’s March 9 debut of UFC’s revamped The
Ultimate Fighter Live
drew a strong 1.28 million viewers,
according to network officials.

The series, which aired for
14 seasons on Spike TV before
moving to FX as part of
a seven-year television deal
between Fox Sports and the
mixed-martial-arts promoter,
also drew 953,000 18-to-49-
year-old adults and 538,000
18-to-34-year-olds, while finishing
among the top five cable
programs that evening among
men 18 to 34 and adults 18 to 34.

During the live premiere
telecast, 16 would-be UFC
fighters battled for the right to
move into a house with other
Ultimate Fighter contestants, where they will train and
encounter weekly elimination bouts until one fighter
emerges victorious, with a six-figure UFC contract.

Overall, FX will air six live UFC fights a year along with
24 live fights each week from The Ultimate Fighter. Each
year, the network will run two seasons of the reality series
and will tape each week’s episode days in advance, a
quicker turnaround than was the case with Spike.

FX’s The Ultimate Fighter debut failed to best Spike
TV’s final-season average for the series, though. TUF
averaged 1.5 million viewers for the men’s-targeted
network last year. Overall, the series drew 2 million
viewers for Spike over 14 seasons.

Spike’s Friday-night repeats of previous The Ultimate
episodes drew 653,000 viewers in a head-to-head
matchup with FX’s The Ultimate Fighter Live telecast on
March 9, according to Spike.