Originally Posted by Dylan M
I wouldn't say it's the quality of fighters that matter. How many quality fighters were on the last HW season? (sea 10 I believe?). Which is where obviously you saw the highest ratings. Heavyweight fighters bring in viewers more than extremely talented 170 or 155lb fighters.
Here's a overall look on all seasons' ratings prior to 10 to get a better idea what everyone likes to see:
Kimbo, Rampage, Rashad and the feud:
"reports that the debut episode of The Ultimate Fighter season 11 drew an average audience of 1.9 million viewers. That's 2 million less viewers than TUF 10's debut episode and 600,000 less viewers than that season's lowest rated episodes.
But this isn't unexpected. For better or worse Kimbo Slice draws eyeballs to the tube better than anyone else in MMA right now. Thus it comes as no surprise that TUF 11's ratings are more on par with TUF 9 and TUF 8."
TUF 11 Episode 1 Ratings: Oh yeah, Kimbo isn't on this Season - Watch Kalib Run
- Episode No. 1: 4.1 million viewers - Season premiere with Ultimate Fight Night: Diaz vs. Guillard lead in.
- Episode No. 2: 2.9 million viewers
- Episode No. 3: 5.3 million viewers - Kimbo Slice vs. Roy Nelson
- Episode No. 4: 2.8 million viewers
- Episode No. 5: 2.8 million viewers
- Episode No. 6: 2.8 million viewers
- Episode No. 7: 2.5 million viewers
- Episode No. 8: 2.5 million viewers
- Episode No. 9: 2.4 million viewers
- Episode No. 10: 2.4 million viewers - head-to-head with WEC 44*
- Episode No. 11&12: 2.6 million viewers**
- Fianle: 3.7 million viewers***
Examining TUF 10's Ratings - Watch Kalib Run
TUF had a HW season before and hesitated to do it again after:
"If you take each seasonís 12 regular episodes and break them down into groups of three episodes apiece, TUF 1 started off by averaging a 1.5 overall rating for its first three episodes, and ended its season by averaging a 1.8 rating for its final three episodes. The lowest-rated episodes were the first two episodes (both of which drew 1.4 overall ratings), and it was all uphill from there.
The pattern with the second season was the exact opposite. In the case of TUF 2, the first three episodes averaged a 1.7 overall rating, the next three episodes averaged a 1.4 overall rating, the next three episodes averaged a 1.2 overall rating, and the final three episodes also averaged a 1.2 overall rating. That is an alarming trend, and it represents a big challenge for Spike TV and Zuffa in the future."
- INDEPTH LOOK AT TUF 2 VS TUF 1 RATINGS | MMAWeekly.com
, coaches Ken and Tito:
"The Ultimate Fighter 3 drew an average weekly viewership rating of 1.69 with a 2.9 rating in the Male 18-34 demographic." (wiki)
, the comeback (WW,MW):
"TUF 4 scored an overall rating of 1.24 with a 2.0 rating in the male 18-34 demographic." (wiki)
, coaches Penn/Pulver (LW's):
"Ratings for this season of TUF continued to drop as TUF 5 brought in an overall rating of 1.18. In the male 18-34 demographic this season scored a 1.6." (wiki)
, coaches Serra/Hughes (WW's):
"Ratings again once again dropped for this season with season scoring an overall ratings score of 1.12. In the male 18-34 demographic, season 6 scored a rating of 1.5." (wiki)
, coaches Rampage/Forrest (MW's):
"Ratings for TUF 7 were slightly up from season 6 with the show scoring an overall rating of 1.1 while scoring a 1.6 in the male 18-34 demographic. The live finale scored an average rating of 1.4" (wiki)
, coaches Mir/Nog ( LW's and LHW's):
"Over 12 episodes, TUF 8 did an average household rating of 1.14 which puts it roughly alongside the past two seasons in popularity. In the Male 18-34 demographic, the first 12 episodes did an overall rating of 1.5, which ties TUF 6 as the equal lowest in TUF history."
, coaches Bisping/Hendo ( LW's and WW's):
"Overall, the series drew a 1.8 in M18-49, a 2.1 in M18-34, a 2.7 in M25-34, and an average audience of 1.8 million viewers."
My conclusion: Coaches, fighter recognition brings more views than good fights