While UFC president Dana White insists that Fox execs are more than happy with the TV ratings that The Ultimate Fighter: Live is drawing on Friday night’s, the series continues to sag in comparison with its tenure on Spike TV.
Episode 8 of TUF: Live this past Friday drew just 929,000 viewers, a new series low. It marks the second time this season, and in the series’ history, that TUF has dipped below one million viewers for an episode.
“As far as the show goes, it’s a (expletive) home run for FX,” said White recently. “It’s on Friday nights. Friday nights they do movies and reruns. We’re the No. 1 thing in males 18-34 every Friday night. If not, we’re No. 2 if they pull something off that beats us. (FX is) happy as a pig in (expletive).
“For me, I want to pull 3 million viewers on FX. We’re No. 1 on Friday nights every week, which they’ve never had. The (UFC 145) prelims on Saturday on FX were No. 1. It’s a home run for them, but it’s not necessarily a home run for me.”
Episode 8 saw Team Faber take the lead once more as Chris Saunders nabbed a split decision win over Sam Sicilia. They now lead the series 4-3.
This is The Ultimate Fighter’s first season on FX, which happened as part of the UFC’s new television deal with the Fox family of networks, of which FX is a part. Friday night is also a departure from the show’s run on Spike TV.