Updated 1/24 – The Ultimate Fighter 17 (Team Jones vs Team Sonnen) made its much anticipated debut last night on its new day and time with a huge UFC on FX ratings win.
The debut show was very much a re-branding with the UFC wasting no time showcasing its heavy improvements in camera angles, fighter introductions and the overall production of the show. From start-to-finish it was clear the UFC wanted viewers to know this was a series that was reinvigorated.
Thankfully for the UFC this re-brand and re-invigoration made for record breaking ratings for its Tuesday night prime-time debut. The updated Nielsen ratings peg the show at 1.5 million total viewers, a updated 0.8 number (down from 1.0 on the fast-national numbers) in the 18-49 demographic and a 0.6 in its target 18-49 male demographic according to Nielsen.
It should be noted though, that these are simply UFC on FX records, as Spike TV still holds the highest rated TUF ever with TUF 10 reaching a total viewership of 4.1 million at one point. Either way though, these numbers are exactly what the UFC and FX were hoping for and this marks another record this week for the UFC on FX.
When it came to the competition on the other cable networks, the UFC’s biggest competition came from the Big Bang Theory reruns on TBS. All three episodes were top for the night and came in above 3.0 million total viewers and above 1.3 in the targeted 18-49 demographic. From the national networks no one even came close to beating reruns of NCIS on CBS. Both episodes came in with huge 12.73 and 11.66 million total viewer numbers. However, the 18-49 (male+female) rating victory went to Fox’s New Girl from 9PM-10PM which came in at a solid 2.1 rating.
Obviously no one expected the UFC to beat either of these national shows marks overall, but don’t think for one second the networks are not watching all of these demographics closely. The UFC was put on Tuesday to make moves and this was an unbelievable start. The key as I always say in the these reviews is, we will just have to hope that the UFC can keep the momentum going.