There’s no doubt that Brazil is becoming the mecca of the UFC when it comes to live audiences and TV ratings, and that continues to be true with the debut of The Ultimate Fighter in the South American country last week.
Early estimations had the debut of the reality show, which landed on Globo TV Sunday night following the hugely popular Big Brother in Brazil, hitting the mark at around eight million viewers.
Now, UFC president Dana White has revealed the real numbers for the show, and admits they aren’t easy to come by because TV ratings in Brazil aren’t as accessible as they are in America.
“It was actually 12 (million). I’m happy,” White said about the ratings of the first episode of The Ultimate Fighter Brasil.
“The problem is down in Brazil is for some reason, I don’t know what the deal is, but networks won’t give out the ratings. They won’t tell you what the ratings were, so we know, but most of the other people have to figure it out.”
White also found out that dirty politics inside of Brazilian TV can lash back after a recent report was leaked sharing the finalists of The Ultimate Fighter Brasil.
The UFC closed a deal to air TUF Brasil on Globo TV, and rival network R7 Network in response released the results of the reality show following Sunday’s debut.
The UFC’s head honcho says that their tactics are just low and all it really does is hurt the fighters that are competing on the show with a chance to get into the Octagon for the first time.
“I don’t know if you saw this but another channel, another channel we were talking to, then went out and said these are the finalists in The Ultimate Fighter, and tried to like sabotage the whole show. The crazy thing is if you went out and did that, you think you’re hurting the UFC? You think you’re hurting Globo? Globo’s the top network in the country. You’re hurting the kids, the contestants of the show. That’s who you’re hurting, the guys in the competition,” said White.
“That’s some dirty, dirty, Josh Gross dirty type (expletive). You know what I mean?”
There’s been no word, however, what the reprisal, if any, will be for the network that leaked the alleged results.
One other point that White dealt with about The Ultimate Fighter Brasil was the fact that the show is not airing on an American cable network like Fuel TV. The show was long rumored to land on Fuel, but when the debut episode came out last week, it was only available online through TUF.tv outside of Brazil.
White explains that The Ultimate Fighter Brasil will air in America, but to make sure it was shown in real time, the same airings that happen in Brazil, they had to do an online format.
“It’s going to air this summer on Fuel. I don’t remember the date, but it’s going to air on Fuel,” said White.
The second episode of The Ultimate Fighter Brasil will air this Sunday on Globo TV, and on TUF.tv in other areas.