That number is the lowest point of the current season, dragging the Season 13 average down to 1.28 million viewers per episode.
That low number, however, does bolster UFC president Dana White’s recent cries of disappointment over Spike TV’s decision to move TUF’s time slot from 10 p.m. ET to 9 p.m. ET this season.
“You know what the problem is? We changed time; I don’t like the time change,” White stated during a conversation at UFC 129. “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.”
That statement was bolstered this week when you consider that Episode 7 spent time going head to head with the NBA Playoffs on TNT, which drew a fantastic average of 6.8 million viewers as it overlapped TUF. In fact, the final 10 minutes of the game peaked with 10.8 million viewers. Add the fact that the NBA Playoffs draw heavily from the same demographic as “The Ultimate Fighter” and the damage is multiplied.
White also pointed out, however, that TUF is still doing well, even with the much stiffer competition in the new time slot.
“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. Nobody does that.”