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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
"The Ultimate Fighter: Live" on FX has thus far not seen quite the ratings jump that UFC President Dana White had been hoping for in moving from Spike TV, with a number of issues contributing to the lowest marks in the show's history.
A major contributing factor is the move to Friday nights. Friday's are a historically bad night for television programming, especially in the UFC's key demographics as younger people are out during TUF's timeslot. However, compared to what FX had previously gotten for their programming on Friday night's, they're more than happy with the numbers they've been getting from the UFC.
"I love the format, the format’s awesome," White said in an interview with the Orange County Register. "As far as the shoe goes, it’s a (expletive) home run for FX. It’s on Friday nights. Friday nights they do movies and reruns. We’re the No. 1 thing in males 18-34 every Friday night. If not we’re No. 2 if they pull something off that beats us. They’re happy as a pig in (expletive)."
While the television partner is happy, that doesn't necessarily mean White is sharing in the enthusiasm, considering where they were at on Spike and what they were hoping to move to on FX.
"For me, I want to pull three million viewers on FX," White said. "We’re No. 1 on Friday nights every week, which they’ve never had. The (UFC 145) prelims on Saturday on FX were No. 1. It’s a home run for them, but it’s not necessarily a home run for me."
Penick's Analysis: In retrospect, the move to Friday nights was not a good one for the UFC. For FX, UFC programming allows them to get more eyeballs on the network that night than what they were offering previously, but the UFC takes a hit in viewership on a night where most of their demographic is not sitting in the house watching TV. They're simply not going to get three million viewers on a Friday night with the show they're presenting. The change in format hasn't been so drastic as to change the show entirely, and because of a number of these issues the UFC isn't getting the boost in profile they were hoping for.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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