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TUF 5 finale draws 2.0 rating

By Zach Arnold | June 26, 2007

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A very good cable rating for UFC this past weekend. More details here:

Overall The Ultimate Fighter 5 finale reached 2.6 million people with a 3.0 rating in Men 18-34 (834,000), 2.6 rating in Men 18-49 (1.4 million), and a 2.00 HH rating. The telecast peaked with 3.4 million people at 11:30pm for the Penn-Pulver fight.

The UFC event also knocked out HBO’s boxing telecast of Ricky Hatton vs. Jose Luis Castillo which aired head-to-head that evening. Despite it being HBO’s most watched fight of the year for Men 18-34, Spike drew 153% more Men 18-34 and 106% more Men 18-49. Overall, the Spike finale drew 800,000 more total viewers.

All positive news for UFC on the ratings front for this event. Especially the super quarter-hour rating for Penn vs. Pulver. The reward for Penn? He’ll face the winner of the Sean Sherk/Hermes Franca match (which takes place on July 7th at Arco Arena in Sacramento).

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 17 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

17 Responses to “TUF 5 finale draws 2.0 rating”

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    That is a very solid rating. I was at the event live, and it was enjoyable. I’ve never been to a non-PPV UFC event, but I enjoyed it just as much.

    As for the rating difference, HBO is only in around 40 Million homes compared to 90 Million for SpikeTV. However, even with that taken into mind, the UFC still did much better then boxing for the key demographic.

    I remember when Penn vs. Pulver 1 happened, there was a huge deal about a Lightweight fight being a main event. Fans, and I believe I was included, said it just wouldn’t be something people wanted to watch as a main event fight for a fight card. At the time we were right. But the climate has changed so much that Lightweights can easily be the main attraction. I would easily purchase a PPV headlined by Sherk vs. Penn (I wouldn’t for Sherk/Franca).

    This also shows that BJ Penn has some selling power. People enjoy watching him fight. He has that “X Factor”.

  2. nicklovesmma says:

    so it got a 2.0 rating and a 3.0 rating among 18-34 males?

  3. GassedOut says:

    Personally, I think Penn is a tad arrogant, but I wonder how much of that is for show or edited to make him look that way for drama. I still think we should drop “the Prodigy” as his nickname and just call him GUMBY. MAN that guy is FLEXIBLE!

    I’m quite surprised it broke 2.0, but pleasantly so. Maybe it’s testament to the inroads MMA is making into the so-called legitimate sports world, along with Randy and Rampage nominations for Espys. Of course we always knew it was. Now the world is finding out. 😉

    As far as the draw power of the lightweights, I’m more reserved. I suspect the draw power is in the name to an extent. BJ Penn’s name has been out there, and so had Pulver’s. They’ll have to hype the lightweight fighters a bit more, but I suspect that’s the game plan with season 6 of TUF also being about the lightweights. Interesting choice of coaches. Think that’s warm-up hype for the belt match?

  4. Body_Shots says:

    Looks like Penn was the biggest winner from the show. He’s # 1 in top sports searches & # 3 in overall searches on yahoo buzz.

  5. Zurich says:

    Goes to show you that perhaps the UFC should flirt with some higher profile fights for UFNs… the fights themselves can be pretty enjoyable to watch, but that doesn’t matter if no one tunes in.

  6. 45 Huddle says:

    Season 6 will get a huge draw, only in PPV numbers instead.

    And speaking of drawing power, I have found it interesting that hardcore fans feel like Gabriel Gonzaga has no drawing power. The guy had a great Head KO at UFC 70. That show was watched by more people then TUF5 Finale. Against Couture, Gonzaga is going to draw a huge gate and PPV Numbers, and when he wins, he will have a solid following. Language doesn’t matter when you can have a highlight real KO on TV like that in front of a huge audience.

  7. Kev says:

    I think it should be settled that BJ Penn is a bonafied star. IMO, he is the UFC’s biggest property below 205 lbs. Didnt UFC 63 do 700,000 buys?

  8. 45 Huddle says:

    I think Hughes is equal or slightly greater then Penn as a star. However, GSP who beat them both, just doesn’t have the same drawing power. Not even close.

  9. Jonathan says:

    I agree with you 45 Huddle…I think that Hughes is the bigger draw. But at the same time, I feel that St. Pierre has the most ability to draw, but he needs to win alot more matches in exciting fashion and maybe become a champion. The rating numbers that the UFC got might make them consider adding more high profile matches to the UFN card, as well as convincing Spike TV to carry free UFC Main Event cards (can’t call them PPV cards)

  10. GassedOut says:

    Yeah, and he has to shed the reputation as an easily injured fighter. He withdrew from 2 fights over things like muscle strains. Chuck Liddell fought and won with injuries, so has Hughes, Penn, and…well, name a big name, most of them have. We’ll never know, but if St. Pierre had pushed through the injury and fought Serra when he was originally supposed to, I believe that fight may have been quite different.

    But hey, that’s a call for the athlete involved, they know better than anyone else what they can and can’t do…I’m just thinking out loud. Or in text. Whatever.

  11. lordschroeder says:

    but zach, i thought that having penn and pulver highlite a free tv event instead of on pay per view was a stupid, arrogant decision? it looks life dana white made a great decision in bringing additional interest to the season finale of the ultimate fighter, seeing as how the ratings had slipped in recent seasons. maybe it wouldn’t hurt to NOT criticize dana once in a while

  12. Zach Arnold says:

    but zach, i thought that having penn and pulver highlite a free tv event instead of on pay per view was a stupid, arrogant decision? it looks life dana white made a great decision in bringing additional interest to the season finale of the ultimate fighter, seeing as how the ratings had slipped in recent seasons. maybe it wouldn’t hurt to NOT criticize dana once in a while

    You just made my argument for me.

    The fact that Penn vs. Pulver did such a good quarter-hour rating would certainly indicate that UFC could have made very good money on that fight if it had been on the UFC 72 PPV, yes?

  13. Just another MMA "mark" says:

    “i thought that having penn and pulver highlite a free tv event instead of on pay per view was a stupid, arrogant decision”

    Penn/Pulver peaked with 3.4 million people. Just a simple example off the top of my head, if you factor in how many people were watching in the same household, like let’s say on average 4 people per household, you have the possibility of 850,000 potential PPV buys. How many of this number who followed the TUF5 season and would have bought a PPV with Penn/Pulver is unknown and hard to predict IMO. But the possibility of having 800,000+ PPV buys on the basis of having of Penn/Pulver 2 as the only man fight and main event would be considered a huge success for the UFC.

    Now if you consider if the UFC placed Penn/Pulver 2 as the main event of UFC 72 show with top billing over Franklin/Okami, that would have resulted in A LOT~! of potential PPV buys.

    Opinions about the Finale rating versus the possibility of (added) PPV buys for Penn/Pulver will be diverse. That’s all I can say.

    Anyone who disagrees, I’d appreciated you response. Thanks.

  14. Tomer Chen says:

    but zach, i thought that having penn and pulver highlite a free tv event instead of on pay per view was a stupid, arrogant decision? it looks life dana white made a great decision in bringing additional interest to the season finale of the ultimate fighter, seeing as how the ratings had slipped in recent seasons. maybe it wouldn’t hurt to NOT criticize dana once in a while

    Wouldn’t the fact that non-gimmicked TUF season finales (IE: Ones that did not have a ‘payoff’ fight between the coaches such as Penn-Pulver II) did comparatively worse be indicative of the poor quality of the TUF product in recent seasons and be proof more that the TUF product is one that will not draw anything on its anymore (IE: It’s been exhausted as a serious money drawing resource)?

  15. Body_Shots says:

    [Wouldn’t the fact that non-gimmicked TUF season finales (IE: Ones that did not have a ‘payoff’ fight between the coaches such as Penn-Pulver II) did comparatively worse]

    Most of the finales do about 2.0.

    But these ratings were the most impressive (imo) based on the amount of competition they had going into the weekend. Especially going head-to-head with HBO boxing. They didn’t take a backseat to Hatton-Castilo as some suggested, they outdrew them overall & in those coveted demographics.

    Pretty nice bargaining chip they can use when they negotiate with other networks or when they go back to the table with Spike in ’08.

    Yea, they could of done well with Penn-Pulver on ppv, but I also think they drummed up a lot more interest in a potential title fight between Penn vs. Sherk/Franca. It’s been a long time since a LW fight has been a main event or even a true co-main event for a PPV.

  16. Tomer Chen says:

    Yea, they could of done well with Penn-Pulver on ppv, but I also think they drummed up a lot more interest in a potential title fight between Penn vs. Sherk/Franca. It’s been a long time since a LW fight has been a main event or even a true co-main event for a PPV.

    On the other hand, a fight like Penn-Pulver II could have strengthened a meh card that even the UFC was afraid would bomb as a PPV in UFC 72 (they tried to get on free TV until Spike TV refused to show it).

    There are viable arguments for both sides of the coin (showing it on free TV vs. PPV), IMO.

  17. Body_Shots says:

    If I were to put Penn-Pulver on PPV, it definetly wouldn’t of been on that card. That thing was doomed from the begining as a PPV event, which is why it was originally slated to air on Spike, tape delayed.

    Rumors are that they (Spike) intially agreed to air it when Kampmann-Franklin was the main event, but turned it down when Okami replaced him.

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