It took the live finals to do it, but The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale, not surprisingly, pulled in the best TV ratings of the season.
The TUF 16 edition of the reality series has been a tough draw across the board, but on Saturday night, the finale drew 1.3 million fans for the Roy Nelson vs. Matt Mitrione headlined fight card, according to MMAWeekly.com’s industry sources.
That’s no surprise, as live UFC events always tend to draw a little better.
Even though the TUF 16 Finale was tape delayed on the West Coast in the U.S., the 1.3 million viewers accounted for a much larger audience than the season’s average of just over 829,000 viewers per episode.
The TUF 16 regular season peaked at 1.1 million viewers for episodes four and eight, but floundered in its Friday night timeslot for a majority of the season.
The TUF 16 Finale did better than Season 15’s 1.0 million for its finale on FX, but still fell well below what the finales on Spike TV were drawing in the series’ last couple of seasons on the UFC’s former television home. The TUF 13 and TUF 14 finales drew 1.8 million and 2.3 million viewers, respectively.
The four TUF 16 Finale preliminary bouts that aired on Fuel TV drew an average audience of 104,000 viewers, which is about middle of the road for a preliminary bout broadcast on the action sports network.