Shortly after it was announced that Jon Jones would be coaching opposite Chael Sonnen in the next season of The Ultimate Fighter, FX executives discussed that they would be moving the day the series airs. Now courtesy of an advertisement in UFC 360 (formerly known as UFC Magazine), we know that The Ultimate Fighter will become the centerpiece to FX's Tuesday night programming and will debut January 22, 2013.
FX, to this point, has been pushing the series through “Ultimate Fighter Fridays,” which unfortunately for both the UFC and Fox subsidiary, has yielded ratings ranging from unimpressive to bad. Many believe the Friday time slot to be a major factor for the lack of popularity.
The first season on FX, The Ultimate Fighter: Live, featured Dominick Cruz coaching opposite Urijah Faber. While the series was well regarded by fans for its focus on the actual training and development of young fighters rather than the usual testosterone-driven wackiness, ratings were consistently under one million viewers.
They abandoned the “Live” aspect in the current season, featuring Roy Nelson coaching opposite Shane Carwin. The show is once again filled with the alcohol-fueled melodrama one would expect of a reality show, but ratings for this season have been historically bad, tumbling as low as an estimated 624,000 viewers.
In addition to moving to Tuesdays, the UFC is featuring two of their biggest stars in Jones and Sonnen. Whether or not this will deliver the numbers FX is hoping for will be one of the biggest industry-side stories of 2013.
Keep a close eye on Bleacher/Report as the season approaches.