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Sunday, December 09, 2007
Mixed Martial Arts--- Ultimate Fighter 6 Finishes as Lowest-Rated Season to Date
by Ivan Trembow
Originally Published on MMAWeekly
The twelve-episode regular season of The Ultimate Fighter 6 was the lowest-rated season in Ultimate Fighter history. This marks the third consecutive season of TUF that has been the lowest-rated to date.
In chronological order from first to last and rounded to the nearest one-tenth of a ratings point, the twelve individual episodes of TUF 6 drew overall ratings of 1.5, 1.0, 1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 1.2, 1.1, 1.0, 1.1, 1.0, 1.1, and 1.1. In the end, the season averaged a 1.1 overall rating.
In the history of the series, The Ultimate Fighter 1's regular season averaged a 1.6 overall rating; the second season was down to a 1.4 average rating; the third season was the series' peak with a 1.7 average rating; the fourth season was down to an average rating of 1.2; the fifth season was down very slightly from the previous season but still rounded to an average rating of 1.2; and the just-completed sixth season was down to an average rating of 1.1, which is the new series-low.
Ratings in the #1 Key Demographic
In the demographic that is most coveted by advertisers on Spike TV, the 18-to-34-year-old male demographic, the ratings of The Ultimate Fighter as a series were on a steady increase through the first three seasons (which finished airing in June 2006), and have been on a steady decrease ever since.
In the 18-to-34-year-old male demographic, the twelve-episode regular season of TUF 1 averaged a 2.2 rating; the second season increased to a 2.5 average rating; the third season continued the increase with a 2.9 average rating; the fourth season decreased to a 2.0 average rating; the fifth season continued the decline with a 1.6 average rating; and the just-completed sixth season declined further to an average rating of 1.5.
Ratings in the #2 Key Demographic
The second most targeted demographic among the UFC and Spike TV's advertisers is 18-to-49-year-old males. In this demographic, we don't have all of the data for the first and second seasons of TUF, but we do have all of the data starting with the third season.
In the 18-to-49-year-old male demographic, the twelve-episode regular season of The Ultimate Fighter 3 drew an average rating of 2.2; the fourth season decreased to an average rating of 1.6; the fifth season continued the decline with an average rating of 1.4; and the just-completed sixth season further declined with an average rating of 1.3.
Future of The Ultimate Fighter
Despite the decreasing ratings, The Ultimate Fighter is not going to be leaving the airwaves anytime soon. In fact, it's just the opposite, as Spike TV has a deal in place with the UFC to air TUF 7 and TUF 8 in 2008; TUF 9 and TUF 10 in 2009; TUF 11 in 2010; and TUF 12 in 2011.
The most recent season pick-ups were part of a multi-year renewal of the UFC's contract with Spike TV to air numerous shows on the network, including The Ultimate Fighter, UFC Unleashed, and UFC Fight Night. Under the terms of the new contract, Spike TV will pay the UFC over $100 million, according to Variety and MultiChannel News, plus additional funds if there are more than six special event broadcasts per year, which consist of four UFC Fight Night events per year through 2011; two Ultimate Fighter finales per year through 2009; and one Ultimate Fighter finale per year in 2010 and 2011.
The Ultimate Fighter 7 will feature a 16-man middleweight tournament and will be filmed starting in January, will air in April, May, and June. While the coaches of TUF 7 have not yet been officially announced, the UFC has said that it has very big plans for Quinton "Rampage" Jackson in the near future, which has added fuel to the widespread rumors that Jackson will be one of the coaches on TUF 7.
As for the other coach, the most likely choices would seem to be Forrest Griffin, who scored the biggest win of his career in September when he submitted Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 76; or Chuck Liddell, provided that he defeats Wanderlei Silva at UFC 79.