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Conor McGregor's return to coach The Ultimate Fighter 31 debuted with 294,000 average viewers for the one hour broadcast this past Tuesday night on ESPN.
According to the Nielsen ratings system, TUF 31 finished at No. 11 overall on cable on Tuesday night, earning a .14 share in the coveted 18-to-49 year old demographic, which is the key sector when it comes to advertising on television. The show aired at 10 p.m. ET.
The No. 1 program on Tuesday was The Real Housewives of New Jersey on Bravo with 1.176 million average viewers and a .34 share in the 18-to-49 year old demographic.
Those numbers are down dramatically from the previous time McGregor appeared on The Ultimate Fighter, a Season 22 coaching spot on the long-running series opposite Urijah Faber. During that season, TUF 22 debuted with 622,000 average viewers with the broadcast on FOX Sports 1.
While McGregor's return alongside future opponent Michael Chandler didn't produce those kinds of ratings, TUF 31 still trumped the last season that aired on cable after TUF 28 produced 186,000 average viewers for that debut back on FOX Sports 1 in 2018 with Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum as coaches.
Both TUF 29 and TUF 30 aired exclusively on ESPN+, a subscription based service, which means no viewer numbers are released.
The latest installment of The Ultimate Fighter was boosted from ESPN+ back to ESPN largely due to McGregor serving as one of the coaches as he plots his return to action following a devastating broken leg suffered in his previous appearance in the UFC in 2021.
McGregor and Chandler are coaching two teams of bantamweights and lightweights with a mix of newcomers and UFC veterans in the cast. The remainder of the season will continue to air on Tuesday nights on ESPN at 10 p.m. ET.