The Ultimate Fighter 16 TV ratings for Friday’s Episode 2 recorded 872,000 viewers, drifting down from the premier’s tally of 947,000, the lowest number in series history for a TUF premier episode.
Despite the lower than desired numbers for UFC officials, company president Dana White continues to insist that Fox officials are more than pleased with how TUF is performing on FX.
“TUF was No. 1 in its time period for men 18-34, passing all cable and broadcast channels,” said White following UFC 152 in Toronto on Saturday night. “That's a home run for FX.”
And that is what television is about. Television is about pulling in the best ratings that a network can, and TUF hitting No. 1 for its time period gives FX a strong presence on a typically slow night.
That’s not necessarily conducive to what UFC officials would like to see. They of course want to maximize their audience not for a specific night, but as a whole. Friday nights on TV don’t exactly help in that regard, but it’s a tradeoff that the promotion has to make in order to have a television partner with the strength that Fox wields.
“Is it a home run for us because we're not doing the number that I wish we could do if we were on Tuesday or Wednesday? No,” add White. “But it is an absolute home run for FX.”
Such a tradeoff doesn’t mean the UFC is losing out. The Ultimate Fight franchise is still a valuable tool for the promotion to expand into new markets throughout the world and to discover more talented fighters that eventually fold into the promotion’s active ranks.
Stay tuned to MMAWeekly.com for more on The Ultimate Fighter as the season rolls on.