MMA News

Wednesday, 04/11/2012, 05:11 pm

Why Aren't People Tuning In And Watching The Ultimate Fighter Live On FX?

By Jay Sanders:

People are not watching The Ultimate Fighter anymore. At least not as much as they once did. The UFC has season one to thank for much of its success. But since that time there have been format changes, rules changes and, most recently, a network change. Still the numbers are down. Here are a few reasons why.

1. Bad Night.

The Ultimate Fighter used to come on in the middle of the week. This was perfect. There’s no better way to deal with the stress of the first part of the week than by watching a bunch of dudes absolutely destroy a mansion, each other and eventually themselves.

On Friday nights, people go out to see that sort of thing. The only people watching TV on Friday nights are in their mid-80s and looking for Diagnosis Murder reruns. Ethel and Norma don’t care much for reality shows about fighting, or so the ratings tell us.

2. Talent Pool.

This is the same problem the singing shows like American Idol are suffering from. The first season was great.

“Wow! That guy can really sing. Why hasn’t anyone discovered him yet? Let’s give him a big bag of money.”

But now with YouTube and the emergence of social media, if you can sing you’ll get discovered. You don’t need Simon or Randy anymore. Actually, you don’t even need to know how to sing but that’s beside the point.

Almost all of the really talented fighters are already on the UFC radar. If the guys in the UFC that keep track of young prospects find a blue chip, the last thing they want to do is put the kid on a reality show where he’s locked in a house with a bunch of maniacs and could potentially meltdown.

3. Same Old Song and Dance.

Every season, check that, every episode of The Ultimate Fighter is the same. Here’s the basic rundown of every single episode.

First five minutes – Recap of the last show.

Next ten minutes – One coach is an idiot and doesn’t care about his team. The other coach is really cool and buys ice cream and Bentley’s for his guys.

Next five minutes – Guy gets really drunk. No, you don’t understand, I mean really drunk and tries to blow up the mansion with a jar of kerosene and a blow torch. His teammates talk him out of it at the last minute.

Next five minutes – The prefight interviews where both fighters talk about how they are doing this for their daughter and how they are going to “leave it all in the octagon.”

Final ten minutes – The actual fight. This is where, at most, only one guy, “leaves it all in the octagon.” The other guy gets left in the octagon while everyone else celebrates the fact that he got knocked out.

Repeat cycle at the beginning of the next show where the defeated fighter’s coach complains about how he abandoned the game plan and wouldn’t listen to his corner.

Sorry for spoiling the rest of the season for you but what do you care? You’re not watching it anyway.


79 Responses to “Why Aren't People Tuning In And Watching The Ultimate Fighter Live On FX?”

  1. bill thomas says:

    for me it is 100% because it is on a friday, get me back to wednesday night and i am all in. LOVE THE UFC PERIOD

  2. T.DADDY says:

    lmao.. word

  3. scuzalbutt says:

    I will say because its on friday which keeps me home watching it then going out to the bar or the club afterwards.

    But the 2 fights Faber has chosen have been capital B…boring.

  4. reg says:

    Wow i totally agree. I hope to see more of Mr Sanders work

  5. Donnybrook says:

    I think the Friday night thing is killing it… if I didn’t PVR it I probably wouldn’t be watching it either.

  6. Saxxan says:

    its pretty much its on a friday night when all the guys that would watch the show are out partying and on dates and shit I mean i love the ufc but come friday night tbo i dont even think about the ultimate fighter being on.its not rocket science change the night you show it make it like a monday or tuesday and the ratings will skyrocket.

  7. M.DELA says:

    the MMA market is getting over saturated and frankly, played out. People will lose interest. WWE all over.

  8. Bart says:

    What kills it also is WWE:Smackdown is on and also Bellator fights are also on Friday night.

  9. hahahanninen says:

    I dont have the channel FX and im not going to pay to get it…make it more accessible to the average viewer…I was pissed the fuck off when I couldn’t find it on TV when I was at my girlfriends house last Friday!

  10. koolG says:

    friday night is a bad night to put somthin like this on, the monkeys getting payed big money to do this kinda shit shoulda knew that right away…

  11. DMAC says:

    After Urijah asked his team who’s ready to step up and no one responded, I spotted watching.

  12. Sick Brah says:

    Yeah why would you have it on a friday, look at your market UFC… it young blokes that are usually out getting drunk on the weekend.

    Can someone tell me what the other seasons averaged viewers were, and what a usual reality show would normally get??

  13. TKRelz says:

    i rather watch bellator then tuf and by the time Tuf starts im omw to a date, bar ,movie tity bar and ect

  14. Eric El Bestia says:

    they delay almost 2 months of pay per views and the last UFC Live Free show was on march 2nd, April 14 this Saturday after a month a 2 weeks another free show. All that for a friday show who fighters are supposed to step up and scrap no matter what and a whole team says “no not ready bro”. GTFuck out of here.

  15. Luis says:

    for me its because its on fx i hate that channel and i have it hidden in my guide lol

  16. Yeas says:

    1.) FX Network isn’t as widely available as Spike.

    2.) The production value not as good as the Spike product, even accounting for the live nature of the fights. Throw some mics in the direction of the corners so there is some background noise.

  17. jeff spencer says:

    Every season, check that, every episode of The Ultimate Fighter is the same. Here’s the basic rundown of every single episode.

    First five minutes – Recap of the last show.

    Next ten minutes – One coach is an idiot and doesn’t care about his team. The other coach is really cool and buys ice cream and Bentley’s for his guys.

    Next five minutes – Guy gets really drunk. No, you don’t understand, I mean really drunk and tries to blow up the mansion with a jar of kerosene and a blow torch. His teammates talk him out of it at the last minute.

    Next five minutes – The prefight interviews where both fighters talk about how they are doing this for their daughter and how they are going to “leave it all in the octagon.”

    Final ten minutes – The actual fight. This is where, at most, only one guy, “leaves it all in the octagon.” The other guy gets left in the octagon while everyone else celebrates the fact that he got knocked out.


  18. Steven zell says:

    I am a parent of young kids Friday is there late night to stay up and hang with the family! A lot of my friends that are the same age say the same shit!! Friday night sucks!!! WTF I looked forward to this every Wednesday night! Go to work the next day and analize it with my boys,If it aint broke don’t fix it!!! Dana change it! This sport never gets played out! Just bad time placement!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. ma mama said mma says:

    for me its the friday night there is just other things id rather be doing or watching but mainly its the live format it sucks dick and because its live it cant be shown worldwide at different times i live in england and i would catch TUF every wednesday or thursday depending on the season because it wasnt on at 2am here it could be shown at like regular time in USA then shown the next day here i think thats much better than just having it at one time worldwide you basically just cut the whole of england and the UK out of viewings there also if i do stay up to watch it the live format means there is adverts ever 5 seconds and most of the show is padding the old shows just cut the shit and got straight the point i dont give a shit about a fighter ive never heard of if he wins ill learn his name if not i just wanna watch knock people the fuck out or get knocked the fuck out that presenter guy who presents the show now just a waste of time and money he doesnt need to be there so all he does is talk about the fighters history and background which i for one dont care about thats why i stopped watching the ultimate fighter all together

  20. Greg says:

    Shows live sucks. No ass shot before the fight. Its like crickets. No amazing prospects. Spike just did everythong better

  21. pthance says:

    Because TV is a waste of time.

  22. ma mama said mma says:

    i didnt even care the show was repetative we are the dull brained masses that like shit to be repeated stop changing shit dana the ufc has gotten worse in the last 2 or 3 years in trying to make it mainstream youve lost some loyal hardcore fans

  23. waitwtfffwtfwtf says:

    The whole show this season seems to just be killing time till the fight, it constantly points out that they are on the countdown to the fight and brings up clips of both fighters doing what their doing at different time intervals in the hour leading up to the fight. It’s not that bad to endure but it’s not as entertaining as it used to be, and if after watching this massive buildup to the fight the fight ends up being boring and completely lackluster you really lose motivation to watch it again the next week. That’s why the show needs good entertainment value aside from the fight at the end of the show

  24. jbeamazing says:

    I watch it every week if not Friday I does it on sat or sun still a great product to me but then again I’m a mma addict

  25. GET RID OF TRT says:

    Because the intro song fucking sucks!!

    They need to bring the old one back!!

  26. ern says:

    plu the fighter themself kinda lack that kos bobby south leben or are ok with if they dont win it ok im a former tuf cast member.. rather watch hdnet local guy that show!

  27. kevin says:

    Two words: Mike Rowe

  28. Jwest says:

    Make it real. Get some regular Joe’s in there that want to fight but are not pros. Develop a nobody to become a fighter. Hell take a season for random celebrities. I’d love to see Brad Pitt vs Edward Norton for real. I wouldn’t care what night its on if it weren’t already established pro fighters looking for a break.

  29. dana black says:

    because dana white is a douche and all he cares about is his money.

  30. alexandria beck says:

    I watch it every Friday…

  31. Log says:

    the reason i do not watch it live and download every episodes is because i leave in thailand… and in thailand it have 1 week delay…. so it s the ultimate fighter live… but from the week before… and with blurs on the bloody faces….

    it sucks!!!

  32. how says:

    how about it’s on a shitty station no one cares to buy? especially when you can just watch them online free (even after the show on ufcs webpage)

  33. Lo says:

    There you have it: FX moving the show to Friday night has crippled their viewership. 2. The intro song is lame now. I mean, seriously… The Red Hot Chilli Peppers were cool when I was in college, nearly 22 years ago. The theme music is older than some of the fighters on the show! 3. Switching the show to a live format does NOTHING for it. If anything, it makes it more difficult to watch, from shoddy camera work to running overtime. My DVR cuts it off after one hour. That means I’ve just watched an hour of this crap for nothing. This is dire, especially when fights go to sudden death. 4. Run some marathons so people can get caught up, and air the show multiple times. There’s no reason, in this day and age, to only air a show once. Doing that only alienates your viewers. 5. Maybe it’s time to shake things up a bit. How about a FEMALE Ultimate Fighter show for one season? How about a ring girl competition? You know, have some hot girls competing to be a UFC ring girl. How about going to Brazil to scout some fighters and letting the viewers follow along, during Carnival, when hot women walk around in skimpy bikinis? Sheesh, do I need to do ALL the work for you FX?!?!?

  34. Raul says:

    The day and network change is deff it, people who like to watch the sport and potential ufc’s don’t care if it’s the same thing that’s how the sport is, repetitive but different sick styles of fighting

  35. Ninja Oreo Dollop says:

    1. Time slot, I’d move it to Mondays or Wednesdays like it was on Spike. Still at 10 PM.

    2. Smaller Talent Pool. This talent pool is less talented than last season. Maybe they need to promote in the communities to grow the sport through the youth. Jon Jones imo started his career late and only had maybe 6 months of MMA training before he joined the UFC.

    3. They have no programming that props up TUF. UFC Unleashed and Best of Pride are on Fuel and FSW. So TUF is alone of FX on Fridays… Dumb decision.

    4. Bellator is more.entertaining than this season TUF.

    5. How about a season for LHW division? The division is stale.

  36. Joe Rogan says:

    I used to look forward to TUF. Now I look forward to Stone Cold & Tough Enough.

  37. NUVARING says:

    Im a long time fan of TUF but the change to FX and the friday night thing have really thrown me off

  38. Nando says:

    Fridays night shows don’t work, simple.

  39. 587DTS says:

    I would rather watch porn with ugly fat girls than watch this boring season of tuf.

    • Steve says:

      LOL!!! I hope Dana reads these comments because TUF is dieing! First off I don’t like Faber and Cruz as coaches, their boring as fuck. The coaches will make or break the season. The best seasons had coaches that had beef with each other. For example Mayhem/Bisping, Rashad/Rampage, Ken/Tito, GSP/Koscheck, Serra/Hughes etc. The worst one’s were with the boring coaches like JDS/Brock and Mir/Nog. Also WHO THE FUCK STAYS HOME TO WATCH TUF ON A FRIDAY NIGHT?!?!?

  40. Edger says:

    I watch Bellator FC.. I just wait intill the TUF fights happen like at 7:45 or 7:50

  41. tristanpt27 says:

    I agree with many of the comments above. Even though this FX/Fox phase is the “latest and greatest”, I, and a lot of other fight fans, feel that Spike TV simply portrays fights better. Watching UFC on Spike TV almost makes you feel like a badass watching the fight. Watching the fight on FX/Fox makes you feel like someone gave you an empty cereal bowl and said, “Enjoy!”. Dana, you’ve made some great moves over the years but this is not one of them…

  42. gabriel says:

    The worst part is, there’s no talent on this new Tuf’s, I mean, there’s a lot of better fighters to put on it, but good fighters “jump” the tuf part and go straight to the ufc, It used to be good te expectative “maybe this guy could be a champ” i don’t see it on Tuf Live or Tuf Brazil. Just completly stopped watching.

  43. Turkeykneck fun chav says:

    does anyone find he wierd fighter coach talk before the fight a bit premeditated and fake.
    ever since fox/fx have come aboard they have made ufc seem toosoft and the grittyness has gone from the brutal nature of our favourite sport.

    John Anik doesnt help either, he just makes it seem like another sport that they are trying to make entertaining.
    newsflash MMA is entertaining, you dont have to do all this fake shit to get people watching, you just need to make it more publically available
    maybe they should make FX available without subscription to other fox network channels. then more people could access it.

    Im from the UK, i dont go watch TV on a friday so i have to “obtain” it on saturday to watch when im bored as they have not had any UFC’s for the last 6 weeks

    • Lo says:

      Right. Who is this John Anik creep? I’m about to watch A FIGHT, not Bollywood theater. I appreciate the commentator being a person of color, but he seriously lacks personality. Why not have a washed up fighter do the job? There are plenty of those who can still read, right?

  44. Xaninho says:

    Yeah FOX is killing the UFC. Almost seems like they’re doing it on purpose.

    Changing to gay, shitty robot intro’s with shitty Rocky rip-off marching band intro music.

    Trying to change Joe Rogan’s way of commentating a fight.

    Having that fat bald guy and Anik instead of Rogan and Goldie, why the hell are the fat guy and Anik even in it? Just let Rogan and Goldie present everything!

    You can tell the fighters on TUF are told to behave. What else do you expect from a network like FOX? It’s boring as shit now.

    It’s like FOX said:”OK let’s do this, but without all the swearing, violence and fighting.”

    It completely sucks. I rather watch TUF Brazil than this FOX shit.

  45. CanILive says:

    Friday at ten blows. A lot of people work overtime and/or just plain work Saturday mornings. Or are just getting bombed lol

  46. josh says:

    I think its just on a bad night and a bad time. I watch it every week because Im done with the whole going out thing and my girlfriend loves mma now but most ppl in their targer demographic are not home to watch a tv show at 10pm on friday. I also think that the Primetime show is on too late too. Who they hell wants to stay up to 11 on a friday to watch it. If it was maybe on a Wednesday at say 8pm then yeah i believe they would do better.

  47. Josh Squires says:

    I watch it on saturday when I get up, but then FF through about 75% of it. It has gotten repetitive. Why not dump the show and give us a real bi-annual GP Tourney featuring guys already on the UFC roster? Hell, what if the tourney was just volunteers. Anyone already signed who just wanted to fight. You’d end up with matches that match makers wouldn’t necessarily pick themselves. Could be really entertaining.

    • Lo says:

      This. A total amateur season, with no names who have never gotten in the cage. The winner gets a 5-digit salary contract to the UFC, where he can be eternally pummeled by seasoned fighters who need to improve their fight stats!

  48. Dinglenuts Magee says:

    4. Spike counterprograms them every time and people are used to watching TUF on spike, half of them don’t know the difference and think they are watching the live show.

    5. Midgetweight fighters AGAIN. Fact, people care more about heavyweights in combat sports. UFC should use TUF to add depth to HW and MW, but they keep adding more LWs even though there are 1762345 LWs on the UFC roster

    6. Dominic Cruz is an incredibly boring person and an incredibly boring fighter

    7. pissing off the hardcore fanbase. Fox pulling Rogan as far away from the UFC as possible, playing the NFL theme music and dancing robot… lame, switching the show to Friday night….lame

    Two fights an episode on FX on wednesday (or any non FUEL station) and things would improve immediately. If you put a show on a network most people don’t have at a time where most people have better shit to do and then you should sleep in the bed you made….

    • Crookster says:

      Agree totally with everything you said, except the weights. The heavyweight seasons have been the worst. i think part of it is that its just too hard to keep HWs healthy while fighting at an increased pace. The talent pool never seemed that deep for them either. Maybe diff now, but…

  49. Joanna says:

    I use to watch it ALL THE TIME!! Now that it’s on fx its just not the same at all I only seen 2 episodes and not even all of it because I fell asleep! I love UF but why would you mess with something that didn’t need any messing with!!! I usually know all the fighters names and looked forward to watching it but….not no more! And you guys haven’t got the best fighters in there because my husband isn’t in there. (just saying) but as far as the ratings I’m not surprised at all. Dana white put it back te way it was!!!!!! And I miss my intro song to and one last thing I DON’T CARE IF IT’S LIVE OR NOT!

  50. Lol says:

    This is the first year I haven’t watched. Live is garbage unless it’s finale. We like drama on the weekday. This years the weakest tuf season. The coaches have no personality what so ever and weak talent in a Friday night. Fox is ruining the UFC. Should of never did a deal with f0x. Pick it up Ufc!!!!

  51. Charles Chavez says:

    Because its Friday!!!! That’s it!!! Most people relax during the week and watch tv, I never missed an episode when they were on Wednesday, on Friday nonone wants to stay home, it’s payday!! So a little bit of advice don’t do Fridays ever again! Thanx

  52. MMACRAVER says:

    I think it is just a problem with how FoX does a broadcast overall.

    The graphics/the music/ The announcers/ The live segments they have shoehorned into the program. It’s all awful (some people will of course like it but… It’s fucking shit.)

    What else about the show is really different? nothing…

    The talent pool seems roughly the same as it always does if not better, No fucking idea what people are talking about.

    The antics are pretty much the same.

    The coaches are actually good.

    All that’s different is the awkward FoX changes.

  53. Crookster says:

    – Episode summary = hilarious
    – Friday Night is ridiculous for this show
    + I like the weekly live format since this is the first time we are watching the lead up without the editors already knowing what happened. Manipulative, but far less so.
    -Sucks the fighters are now stuck there for 3 months, though any military guy will have no sympathy for that.

  54. Chris says:

    It is the day of the week for sure.I thought about it and that is what i came up with.Been with UFC since the beginning.Getting used to finding and watching the FX channel took a while also.But now i always pass over it when looking for something to watch,to see if UFC has anything on there.Friday night is pizza and movie night.Or going out.As well as allot of woman aren’t into it so Friday night when cuddled up on the couch watching movies it not a good time to turn on UFC lol

  55. Lability says:

    Why haven’t they had another heavyweight season? And it seems like the coaches and fighters all get along. It’s losing it’s touch of drama!

  56. Bear says:

    i stopped cuz its live. Shit is boring that way in my opinion. Ultimate fighter should be taped and edited, making it live just has a dumb slow feel to it. And plus i agree with it being on a bad day. Friday just isnt a good time to have it. Take not Dana no more Fridays, no more live, except the finally of course.

  57. Ben Dover says:

    I for one decided not to watch for the first time ever mainly because of the coaches. Dominic and Faber?? I can’t stand looking at the massive butt-chin. It’s discusting. It should blurred out, it’s like watching a hairy ass on tv. It’s like Faber had a siemese brother and they had to be separated but they had to leave his butt on Fabers face. And those midgets fought already. Faber will lose again. Also TUF hasn’t produced a champion since season 2 winner Rashit Evans.

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