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‘The Ultimate Fighter’ pulls lowest ratings ever for premiere

Maggie Hendricks
Cagewriter

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Did you tune in to watch "The Ultimate Fighter" on Friday night? Probably not, according to ratings from cable shows on Friday night. 947,000 people tuned in to the show's two-hour debut that featured preliminary fights.

Those numbers are not good. It's the lowest-rated premiere in TUF history. In the last few seasons, ratings drop after the premiere that draws in viewers because there are so many fights.

[More UFC: Dana White's breakneck lifestyle not going to stop anytime soon, health be damned]

A few caveats to remember with this data:

-- The ratings listed are for 25-54 year-old adults. The UFC aims to bring in viewers who are male and between 18 and 34 years of age. These ratings leave out a major chunk of the UFC's demographic.

-- Nielsen ratings don't take into account time-shifted views, or watching via your DVR. Because of a trip out of town and NFL football, I didn't see the show until Monday morning. I doubt I'm alone in not watching the show live.

-- It also doesn't take into account online views, social media discussion during the show, or any of the other metrics that measure the buzz of a show. Young people don't watch television like their parents did, but Nielsen ratings have not caught up with those changes.

Still, Nielsen numbers are important to television executives, and these numbers won't make the fine people of FX happy.

Judging by coming attractions, this season will be no different than previous seasons. It will be filled with smack talk between coaches Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin, pranks in the house, tension between 16 men forced to live and train together for six weeks, and fights. There were exciting moments in the prelim fights, but it's hard to judge real talent in those fights because we know little about the competition level or preparation of the fighters.

Little was shown in the premiere that made me excited to tune in this week. Did you watch Friday, and do you plan to tune in again? Speak up in the comments, on Facebook or Twitter.

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