The series debut of The Ultimate Fighter® Live on FX got off to a strong start Friday night (3/9/12, 9:00-11:38 PM) delivering 1.28 Million Total Viewers, 953,000 Adults 18-49 and 538,000 Adults 18-34, and ranking among the top five cable programs on Friday in Men 18-34 (#2), Adults 18-34 (#3), Men 18-49 (#4), and Adults 18-49 (#5).
The combination of The Ultimate Fighter® Live and its lead-in movie, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, propelled FX to cable’s #1 rank in primetime Friday (8-11PM) in delivery of Adults 18-49 (933,000), Adults 18-34 (532,000), and Men 18-34 (352,000). In addition, The Ultimate Fighter® Live (9-11:38 PM ET) was up +58% in Adults 18-49, +96% in Men 18-49 and +124% in Men 18-34 vs. year ago time period.
“We’ve been anticipating this day since FOX acquired the rights to UFC last summer and we knew it would be a special night for our network,” said Chuck Saftler, Executive Vice President of FX Networks. “The Ultimate Fighter® Live makes Friday nights on FX the ultimate destination for MMA fans. We’re thrilled with the performance of the premiere telecast and we look forward to an exciting season ahead.”
Compared to other MMA telecasts on Friday evening, The Ultimate Fighter® Live Season 1 debut significantly outperformed Spike’s repeat counter-programming of The Ultimate Fighter® Season 10 by +189% in delivery of Adults 18-34, +162% among Adults 18-49, +208% with Men 18-34, and +167% in Men 18-49, and it also battered live MMA bouts on MTV2 by +703% in delivery of Adults 18-34, +947% among Adults 18-49, +568% with Men 18-34, and +842% in Men 18-49.
In the premiere telecast, which was televised live, 16 of the best unsigned fighters in the world took their first step towardsglory as they won their first round tournament fights. The result was some of the most intense, emotional and action-packed bouts in TUF history, including a startling eight-second KO. In addition, fighters were offered a bonus of $5,000 if they succeeded in scoring a submission or knockout in their fight. A total of $40,000 was handed out. With the win, the victors now move into The Ultimate Fighter® Live House for the next 12 weeks as they continue to compete for a lucrative six-figure contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®).
The UFC has transformed The Ultimate Fighter® Live and it no longer is just a competition reality series; it is a LIVE sporting event.
The first season of The Ultimate Fighter® Live on FX features fighters from the lightweight division (155 pounds). The fighters will train together under the supervision of their team’s respective coach. One fighter from each team will be selected by their coach to fight at the end of each episode and the right to advance in the competition. At the end of the season, one man will be crowned The Ultimate Fighter® Live Champion.
The coaches selected for the two teams this season are current UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and former champion andcurrent top contender Urijah Faber. In addition to their coaching duties, Cruz and Faber will be training for their rubber match this summer. The first time they met, Faber successfully defended his title against the rising contender, but Cruz was able to unseat Faber in their second match to capture the title.
FX’s coverage of the UFC this year includes two seasons (26 weeks) of The Ultimate Fighter® Live, six major two-hour fight cards televised live nationally, and 14 live telecasts of preliminary fights preceding UFC pay-per-view telecasts
Ratings Source: The Nielsen Company (Live+Same Day)