Spike Calls on Ratings Heavy-Hitter Kimbo Slice for TUF Live Counter-Programming

February 28, 2012
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Kimbo Slice TUF 10

Spike TV continues its counter-programming war against the UFC and Fox. The network’s latest salvo is The Ultimate Fighter Fridays.

The UFC on Fox launch The Ultimate Fighter: Live on March 9 on FX, so Spike is countering TUF Live with TUF taped. While the UFC is offering its new jive-live format that features footage edited during the week and leading up to a live fight on its current episode, Spike offers footage from its fourteen seasons as host network for The Ultimate Fighter.

Spike TV has also brought in its top draw to kick off its weekly counter-programming efforts.

Kimbo Slice (real name Kevin Ferguson) will host the March 9 kickoff of The Ultimate Fighter Fridays to “discuss never-before-revealed details of his experiences on the show and provide insight into what went on when the cameras weren’t rolling during the filming of the The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights.

Season 10 of TUF, Kimbo’s season, was the highest rated of the series’ 14-season run on Spike. Season 14 delivered an average of 3.4 million viewers per week. The week that Kimbo fought eventual season winner Roy Nelson, the ratings hit 5.3 million viewers for that episode.

Now Spike hopes to rekindle the YouTube phenomenon, countering the UFC as the MMA juggernaut continues to establish itself across the Fox family of networks, including Fox, FX, and Fuel TV.

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  • GiovanniB

    Give it up Spike! There’s nothing that’s going to keep me from watching new shows and new fights. Why would anybody watch a re-run of some show when there’s a new one coming up and new fights coming up? Gees, that just goes to show how dumb asses spike’s execs are. Why would they wanna counter UFC’s growing success…just cuz the UFC is no longer helping them build their success? IMHO I think spike is not helping itself by trying to counter the UFC’s shows on Fox. Oh well, keep failing every time.

    • phrankthetank

      They actually tripled the fuel tv ratings just by doing replays.

      • ajmadic

        lol, Fuel TV and FX are two totally different stations, bub. No one knew what Fuel was until UFC started airing on it. FX has all the pwn TV shows. Pretty sure FX TUF will blow Spikes TUF out of the water.

        • Lesnardo

          (1) No one knew Fuel before the UFC. <–I knew Fuel but I guess most people didn't.

          (2) People now know Fuel. <– Most people still don't know Fuel because vast majority of Americans do not watch MMA.

          • RonnieV

            Most of America doesn’t get FUEL TV. I’m guessing Friday night TV ratings are typically abismal for all cable television. If Spike can real in a few viewers good for them. Seriously, who watches TV on Friday anyway? That’s a drinking night!

          • ajmadic

            The point I’m trying to make is, Spikes ratings were better than Fuels because most people don’t know what Fuel is. Spikes ratings will not be better than FX’s since FX is a big station.

  • Good for Kimbo. Hope he makes a truck load of money.

    Spike would be better off creating and building new and original content instead of taking the bitter ex-girlfriend route. Spike’s rights on UFC content is coming to an end pretty soon and if they dwell on the past for too long they’ll be blindsided by the future.

    • phrankthetank

      They are contractually obligated to not air any other MMA until the end of 2012. They’re just trying to stay relevant until then. They already have a contract in place with bellator.

  • bobbygrooms1

    good for spike there are a lot of people who dont have fx or fuel and may have spike and besides that there are a lot of old fights that id rather see than a bunch of nobody slot fillers . thank you spike

    • Mario

      You sound like you work for them.


  • philmckracken

    They have bellator in 2013.. They’ve gotta at least try and keep some interest in mma until then. All they have now. Im watching new ufc stuff too but ratings arent terrible for spike with counter programing. I’ll be watching when bellator comes around. They helped put ufc on the map and ufc left them when they got deal with fox. Are they supposed to just do nothing? I have to pay to even get Fuel tv 2 ppv’s a month. I’ll be glad to watch some free fights!!

    • RonnieV

      Gotta love Big Phil McKracken… just don’t go pull a Munsen!

  • jesusdidnt.tap

    Annnnnnnnd newwwwwwwww heavy weight champion
    offfff the world kimboooooooooo sliceeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anthony

    Ok, heres a great idea for Spike–They put MMA on the map, when no one even heard of it–Why not discover a new sport, and watch it grow into a world beater ,just like they did with the ufc……Im invisioning competative farting—-THE ULTIMATE FARTING CHAMPIONSHIP!!!!!!!!!!!!— Brock Lesnar can be the worlds heavyweight champion–theres no denying his diverticulitis makes him a born punisher(im sure his wife will confirn this)…..if we get in on the ground floor of this thing well make millions….. whos with me??????????

  • fitefan

    always liked Kimbo. He’s a fighter, just not a martial artist. I’ll prolly flip over during the comercials to maybe catch some of his interview. I could care less about the un aired drama in the house.
    But if this new show is crap, with ill percieved drama and repetitive intro’s (much like it was on spike) I’ll prolly watch spike to catch all of Kimbo’s interview and watch fox during the commercials.
    And bobbygrooms is right, if you don’t get fox or fuel and fx, atleast you can catch some mma on spike.
    Tho, I do agree, the counter programing is a bit spiteful like an exgirlfriend in highschool.

  • AmericanSpetsnaz

    I have the basic Direct TV package and it does not have FX or Fuel so I think its great that theyre doing this. I think there are many people out there that will not be able to watch the new TUF because they dont have the channel. Spike is a manly channel and I think it was stupid for the UFC to “break up” with them.

    • ajmadic

      Yeah, really stupid since Fox is one of the biggest TV Stations on the planet.

    • borlots

      Spike and FX reach virtually the same amount of homes in the US (close to 100 million), while Fuel is in roughly 25-35 million. Fox and Zuffa is working on getting the cable and satellite providers to add them to their regular package groups.
      In Spike and Zuffa’s contract, Spike isn’t allowed to broadcast another MMA organization until 1 year after their contract expired, but are allowed the use of the Zuffa fight library during that year’s period. Spike (Viacom) asked them to buy back their video library rights so they could immediately bring in Bellator. Zuffa refused, saying they expect the contract to be fulfilled, which started the adversial actions of Spike. They started their counter programming and made the bold move of acquiring a majority share of Bellator. Both Spike and Zuffa are making what they believe to be smart, sound business decisions. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next 2-3 years.

  • mmachoman

    How are you supposed to have a “counter-programming” war against the UFC by playing UFC content on your own network??
    That makes no sense.