Huge Article on UFC Ratings

Hi, I just wanted to let alert everyone to an article on MMAWeekly about the ratings of The Ultimate Fighter, not just the season finale ratings but also the 12-episode "regular season" ratings. If you get a chance to read the article, please post your responses in this thread so that we can hopefully get a discussion going about the ratings and all of the related topics discussed in the article.

This article has tons of information, including direct comparisons between TUF 2's ratings and TUF 1's ratings, why the TUF 2 season finale rating was so surprising, what ratings trend is alarming for Spike and Zuffa, what helped the TUF 2 finale in the ratings, my assertion of how the UFC is shooting itself in the foot during the live fight shows, statistical evidence to back up that assertion, a couple ideas on how the ratings for TUF 3 and 4 could be improved and what should not be done under any circumstances, and the interesting situation that Zuffa and Spike TV now find themselves in with the UFC ratings.

The URL is

Again, please post your responses in this thread after you have read the article at Thank you.

lol, I don't think that had much to do with it, jrobertson...

Nobody but the incessant whiners here even notice the five-second-long Xyience plugs.

In-show product placement is now part of the TiVo age. It's hardly unique to TUF or Spike. Get used to it.

Commercials between rounds are quite common.


I think TUF is necessary to build up interest in the live fight specials, since the live specials that have been TUF finales have drawn ratings of 1.9 and 2.0, while the non-TUF live fight specials have drawn 1.5 and 1.6 ratings.

Also, having commercials in between rounds is not a problem that will make viewers tune out. Having thirty-minute-long gaps between fights will make many viewers tune out, and the statistical evidence backs up that assertion.

Ivan I wont have time to read it till later.... i like ur work, but did u address the homosexual issue in the article? And im not joking, Im being serious. Did u address it at all?

"Nobody but the incessant whiners here even notice the five-second-long Xyience plugs."

Not true. My friends, who have likely never even heard of and don't follow any MMA except for the occasional UFC or Pride, laughed their asses off at some of the ridiculously scripted Xyience segments.

Also, in response to RoughDraft, of course product placement is a part of reality TV shows, but you are mistaken if you think that scenes which appear to be blatantly scripted don't severely hurt the credibility of the show.

On The Apprentice, for example, it serves as an indirect advertisement for Office Depot if the contestants have a task that is related to Office Depot.

But what if on an episode of The Apprentice, one of the contestants said to another in a ridiculously over-the-top little scene, "You know what? I really love Office Depot!" and another contestant responded, "Oh my God, I love Office Depot, too! It's the best thing ever!" And what if they repeated the same kinds of statements about the same paid advertiser every single week? It would be a joke.

If the viewers of a reality show get the impression that any little part of the show is scripted, it can bleed over into the rest of the show and give viewers the impression (false in TUF's case) that other things are scripted as well.

One recent high-profile example would be Hogan Knows Best on VH-1... once the general public realized just from watching the show and having an IQ over 80 that the show was heavily scripted, they lost interest. The 0.9 and 1.0 ratings that it was drawing towards the end of its run are still good numbers and warranted a second season renewal, and obviously the fact that it's almost completely scripted is not the only reason that the audience dropped off so drastically for Hogan Knows Best, but it was one very big reason that contributed to the viewer erosion.

"The question for the UFC at this point is how it can build interest back up for a series that much of the first-season audience has stopped watching. As I've previously written, one of the biggest reasons for TUF 2's audience collapse was likely the way in which many of the fighters were presented. What do Mike Whitehead, Dan Christison, Rob MacDonald, Tom Murphy, Kenny Stevens, and Eli Joslin have in common? If you answered, "They were all treated like a piece of garbage and a bum when they were eliminated on the show," you answered correctly. Reality show viewers want to get attached to certain characters and root for them, and there's nothing more discouraging on that front than the constant threat that their chosen character(s) could be buried at any time and unfairly portrayed as a bum"

I disagree. A lot of casual fans think Eli and Kenny should be treated far worse than they were;.

very nice article. great job!

The Xyience plugs were painful to watch and annoying to sit through, but YMMV.

Hollywood-MO is obsessed with homosexuality.

lol!! Im obsessed with it?! Dude have u watched the show?! Theres men, practically nude mud wrestling with each other! Theyre spraying ketchup down each others underwear, come on dude...its not like its subtle things here and there, that only im blowing up.

Some people will believe everything Fightsport writes. And btw - why do you think Fightsport picks on the UFC? It's because they are Pro-Pride and see the UFC as a threat.