This past week the UFC took two clean shots to the chin ratings-wise when TUF 15 and UFC Primetime: Jones vs. Evans came in with the lowest numbers either series had ever drawn.
Specifically, the Ultimate Fighter was under a million viewers for the first time in its seven-year history, while Primetime had less than 500,000 eyes on the tube which marked a decline from an earlier FX-based offering focused on the February clash between Nick Diaz-Carlos Condit.
Both figures have been confirmed by MMAJunkie.
TUF 15 was expected to mark a return to prominence for the groundbreaking reality show after losing some steam in recent seasons, changing to a “real time” format on FX involving a live fight and episodes revolving around action from the preceding days while also bringing in champion Dominick Cruz and rival Urijah Faber as coaches. Likewise, the UFC Primetime surrounding Jon Jones’ upcoming title-defense against Rashad Evans was also expected to be a major draw given the personal history between the two.
UFC officials have not commented on the recent ratings as of this report.
MMATraining Take: Like I pointed out this morning, the UFC needs to do something to get people interested in FX-oriented programming as they did with Spike TV. Fortunately they only have to wait another eight months before Spike can no longer broadcast old UFC material, a move that will likely help the uneducated public who miss live events on FX because of counterprogramming.