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TUF 16: The Ultimate Fighter Draws Record Low Ratings at 775K Viewers

Roy Nelson stars as a coach in the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter, the series' second run on FX.
Roy Nelson stars as a coach in the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter, the series' second run on FX.Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE
McKinley NobleCorrespondent IOctober 1, 2012

Three episodes into its season, "The Ultimate Fighter 16: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson" is still suffering from poor TV ratings, reportedly drawing 775,000 viewers on FX this past Friday.

MMA Junkie notes this as the lowest-rated episode in the series' history, continuing a downward trend that hasn't recovered since the debut of "The Ultimate Fighter: Live" on March 9th, 2012.

According to their data, viewership has continued to drop by significant amounts each episode:

  • "The Ultimate Fighter 16" episode No. 1: 947,000 viewers
  • "The Ultimate Fighter 16" episode No. 2: 872,000 viewers
  • "The Ultimate Fighter 16" episode No. 3: 775,000 viewers

Ever since "TUF" debuted on FX, a condition of the UFC's seven-year TV deal with FOX, ratings have slowly regressed from its 1.2 million-viewer network premiere.

In addition to the show's rating troubles, UFC heavyweight Shane Carwin—coaching opposite Roy Nelson—caused a stir when he posted about a knee injury on his Twitter account a few days ago.

According to MMA Payout, the UFC averaged 1.84 million viewers during its last five seasons on Spike TV. "The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights" (also known as "TUF 10") was listed as the highest-rated season in that span with an average of 3.0 million viewers. By comparison, "TUF: Live" averaged 1.01 million during its run on FX.

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