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All is not good in UFC land

By Zach Arnold | October 13, 2006

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By Zach Arnold

With people reflecting upon the success of UFC’s 3.1 rating for Ken vs. Tito III, the obvious question asked by everyone was whether or not that rating meant that UFC would be able to create new fans that would watch their other programming. The first test was Thursday’s Ultimate Fighter show, which had been lagging in the ratings this year.

On Friday, the ratings news came out for Thursday’s edition of TUF. It was bad. Real bad. They nearly lost to TNA. Repeat after me… they nearly lost to TNA wrestling.

Which brings us to some comments that Dave Meltzer made in an interview with Bryan Alvarez on Thursday. You can listen to that interview here. Some of the points Meltzer made in the interview regarding the Ken vs. Tito III show from Tuesday night:

  1. UFC only scratched the surface with the 3.1 rating for Ken vs. Tito III. If the fight had gone on longer, the overall rating would have been even higher.
  2. The Ken vs. Tito match series was an angle “handed to them.” You can’t recreate the feud, personalities, referee stoppage in the second fight, etc. If you have a match series that hot, you would have to put it on PPV. Even with people being angry about the stoppage for Ken/Tito II, Ken/Tito III would have drawn 500,000 PPV buys.
  3. It was good for business that Tito Ortiz looked dominant in his fight against Ken Shamrock, because it means that it should help business and sell PPVs for the Tito/Chuck fight on 12/30.
  4. We don’t know if the 3.1 rating (a substantial ratings increase) is a long-term growth sign for UFC or not.
  5. Spike TV’s internal projection rating for Ken/Tito III was a 2.2. The 3.1 rating surpassed all expectations.

Topics: All Topics, Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 5 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

5 Responses to “All is not good in UFC land”

  1. JOSH says:

    To be honest I dont think UFC has anything to worry about. IMO the lack of intrest in the current TUF season is that no one cares about these fighters with some of the more “ignorant” fans and even some diehard fans not wanting to see some has beens try and make a comeback. Also I dont think anyone is giving any of these fighters a chance of giving Franklin or Hughes a shot at dethroning them..I mean c’mon if they couldnt hang in the UFC before…how can they hang now? Also the novelty of the “reality show fighters” have worn off, its really the simple case of the “gimmick” running its course and now Dana needs to try and find a new outlet to showcase the UFC.

    But just because the TUF show isnt working doent mean people wont stop watching UFC or buy the PPVs any time soon. The last few UFC cards (with the excpetion of Hughes/Penn) have been record breaking money makers for the buisness (without any help from TUF alumnis excpet maybe Forrest) and with the upcoming Hughes/GSP and Ortiz/Liddell II its going to continue. Sure the Ortiz/Shamrock feud was golden but c’mon u can build up other feuds (the Penn/ Hughes one for example..hell if Mir every gets his act together u can hype up his run for the title). UFC should really look into trying and do more of those Insider and prefight shows and get people to hyped up about the shows and intrested in the fighters that can show some type of personality or have amazing records away from UFC. Again losing TUF wont hurt UFC in the least… I would be more concerned about having weak competition in the UFC which is starting to kill the undercards.

  2. Amy Robinson says:

    I think the UFC’s best bet to recapture the fans intrest in a major fued lies withtin Tito and Chuck, if the UFC is smart they’ll turn those to into their next great fued.

  3. BSP says:

    I think an additional reason for the low TUF ratings (which have been dropping almost every week) is the fact that this season’s fights have been surprisingly boring. I’m sure everyone — Dana included — expected that seasoned veterans would produce better matches than the relative novices of prior seasons. But that has not turned out to be the case.

    Also, with the exception of the truly bizarre Shonie Carter, there have not been many personality clashes this season. The upside is that the current cast seems a lot more mature than the younger guys. Unfortunately, maturity doesn’t always make for good television.

  4. MMA T-Shirts says:

    I think its more saturation point rather than any particular format not working. Even absolute diehard fans are having to pick and choose sometimes, so casual fans just wont be interested enough to watch absolutely everything.

    Regarding TUF especially, I think they should have just left it a couple of months longer before starting series 4 – I mean this one has nearly finished and one of the winners of series 3 hasnt even faught again yet!

  5. cjfighter says:

    I agree with the saturation point. I have only seen three or four episodes this season. It’s so easy to just look up the results the next morning. I mean tonights PPV is worth staying up until 1 in the morning for, but this seasons show is a bunch of people who I’ve already seen fight numerous times. The whole point is that I am among a growing number of fans who have been interested in MMA long enough to have seen these guys fight, so if you want me to watch a T.V. program with them on it you might want to pick an earlier time slot because I’ve got to go to work in the morning.


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