One week after drawing over a million viewers for an episode of The Ultimate Fighter 16, this week's ratings hit rock bottom. Last Friday's episode drew only 624,000 viewers, which is over 150,000 below their previous bottom mark and 475,000 less than last week's episode, which was helped out by having UFC on FX 5 as a lead-in. The show, which features heavyweights Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin as coaches, is bombing.
Dana White recently stated that the number of viewers isn't as important for the show than drawing strong numbers in key advertising demographics, but I think he'd have a hard time defending this. More people watched the TBS overnight movie at 4am ET than tuned in for TUF. And they couldn't even draw a 0.3 in the 18-49 category this week (their key demo), despite doing 0.5 for most of the other episodes.
Here's a look at the stats for every episode so far:
Episode 1: 947,000
Episode 2: 872,000
Episode 3: 775,000
Episode 4: 1,100,000
Episode 5: 624,000
In other words, this is absolutely terrible. There's no way to spin this into a positive. They finally got a bunch of people to tune in and see what the show was about, and 40% of the audience chose not to come back for another week. Yikes.