MMAPayout.com has learned that the 6/11 episode of the Ultimate Fighter on Spike drew a 1.1 rating (1.4 million viewers). The program drew quarter hours of 1.10, 1.07, 1.21, and 1.21. The key demographic numbers were a a 1.72 in M18-34 and a 1.47 in M18-49. The M18-49 number was good enough for second place on basic cable for the time period.
After bottoming out at 0.9 in week, the series has rebounded and appears to be building some momentum heading into the live finale. Spike had pushed the NBA playoffs as the culprit for much this season's decline. Some had doubted that rationale, citing the fact that this isn't the first season to face the NBA playoffs. However, this is the highest rated NBA post season in years and the season's rebound the last two weeks has coincided with the lack of NBA competition.
This comeback of sorts is pretty impressive considering the staleness and predictability of the show at this point. However, the highest rated portion of the show is always the fights for the most part...which we've seen plenty of this season. While I have no doubt that the NBA playoffs or lack thereof have had an positive effect for TUF's ratings the last couple of weeks. It could also be possible that EliteXC's CBS debut has had an anecdotal influence as well. Right now the buzz for UFC 86 Jackson vs. Griffin is still relatively small. However, I sense that is about to change with TUF's ratings climbing and the hype machine of the UFC is about to start rolling.