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TUF 13 TV Ratings Continue Decline, but Dana White Points to Show’s Longevity

Posted on by Ken Pishna

Brock Lesnar and Junior dos Santos - TUF 13

TUF 13 coaches Brock Lesnar and Junior dos Santos

The criticism of the ratings for the thirteenth season of “The Ultimate Fighter” is likely to continue with the latest numbers coming in on Thursday. This week’s Episode 6 pulled in an average audience of 1.2 million viewers, according to Spike TV officials.

That number matches the season’s low-point set by Episode 2.

It’s not an extreme drop, however, as TUF 13 has never crested above 1.5 million viewers.

Overall, this season’s numbers have established a significant drop from Season 12. Six weeks in, this season is averaging 1.33 million viewers, whereas Season 12 average 1.7 million viewers per episode.

There are several contributing factors. Critiques have pointed to the lack of elimination fights to gain entrance into the fighter house, little drama on the show, and lackluster fights.

UFC president Dana White sees one other key factor that displeases him this season, the show’s time slot.

“You know what the problem is? We changed time; I don’t like the time change,” White stated this past weekend. “At nine o’clock, in that slot, you’re going up against a lot of powerful programming. At 10 o’clock, that was the perfect time for us. We didn’t have any say in that.”

He still, however, doesn’t see the lower ratings as an admonition that TUF is dying out. In fact, White believes the opposite, pointing to the strength of the show’s audience and its longevity.

“Show me another show out there that’s been around for 14 seasons pulling 1.3 million viewers at nine o’clock, up against all the television shows that we’re up to,” he challenged.

“Nobody does that.”


Got something to say? Weigh in with a thought of your own in the comments section below.


Ken Pishna is the managing editor of MMAWeekly.com.
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  • rob da rippah

    Well if dana for some reason reads this, the reason TUF 13 ratings are low is because most of the fights have been boring and there wasn’t an elimination round. Thats really why I haven’t watch this season. There needs to be some real contenders next season, the past few seasons haven’t had any potential superstars like some of the prior seasons have. I suggest that you offer a slot for next season to some fighters from strikeforce challengers series and even M1 or bellator. Get some fighters with a little bit of REAL experience
    . Just a suggestion

  • rob da rippah

    and if i had any type-o’s its because I got some super silver haze, my apologies

  • phrankthetank

    There have been some good fights this season, and personally, I can do without all the schoolyard drama. However, I like Rob’s idea of using some of the strikeforce challengers series fighters in a season. It would be one step towards having more crossover fighters, and would make for good fights and good exposure.