The latest episode of The Ultimate Fighter drew just 821,000 viewers on Friday night, according to industry sources.
Episode 11 not only featured the final two quarterfinal bouts of this season’s lightweight tournament, but was used, and promoted, to announce TUF coach Dominick Cruz’s replacement against Urijah Faber at UFC 148.
Neither the two live fights, nor the announcement that Renan Barão stepped up to fight Faber for the interim UFC bantamweight championship could save the ratings from hitting a series low.
Fox officials have maintained all season long that TUF Live is delivering for them in the Friday night TV market. UFC president Dana White, however, has admitted that while TUF may be a “home run” for Fox officials, that doesn’t necessarily hold true for him. So these latest numbers aren’t likely to sit well with him.
Even if all parties were pleased with early season ratings, it’s not a good indicator when a series that ends with a definitive finale, such as The Ultimate Fighter, doesn’t have a ramping-up phase as the series comes to a conclusion.
The Ultimate Fighter: Live is now averaging 1.027 million viewers per episode through 11 episodes.