The criticism of the ratings for the thirteenth season of “The Ultimate Fighter” is likely to continue with the latest numbers coming in on Thursday. This week’s Episode 6 pulled in an average audience of 1.2 million viewers, according to Spike TV officials.
That number matches the season’s low-point set by Episode 2.
It’s not an extreme drop, however, as TUF 13 has never crested above 1.5 million viewers.
Overall, this season’s numbers have established a significant drop from Season 12. Six weeks in, this season is averaging 1.33 million viewers, whereas Season 12 average 1.7 million viewers per episode.
There are several contributing factors. Critiques have pointed to the lack of elimination fights to gain entrance into the fighter house, little drama on the show, and lackluster fights.
UFC president Dana White sees one other key factor that displeases him this season, the show’s time slot.
“You know what the problem is? We changed time; I don’t like the time change,” White stated this past weekend. “At nine o’clock, in that slot, you’re going up against a lot of powerful programming. At 10 o’clock, that was the perfect time for us. We didn’t have any say in that.”
He still, however, doesn’t see the lower ratings as an admonition that TUF is dying out. In fact, White believes the opposite, pointing to the strength of the show’s audience and its longevity.
“Show me another show out there that’s been around for 14 seasons pulling 1.3 million viewers at nine o’clock, up against all the television shows that we’re up to,” he challenged.
“Nobody does that.”