Well, it looks like after two years of airing on Fridays that The Ultimate Fighter series will be moving back to its original night. For years TUF aired on Wednesday night when the reality program was part of the Spike TV line-up. FOX and UFC execs alike hoped the move would boost the ratings for the show since they had seen a decline in recent years. The ratings were always lower when airing on FX then they were on Spike, but that of course could be attributed to its Friday night slot, which is known for low ratings among the younger demographic.
For TV execs, they always try to target to 18-30 demographic of men which would be easier to attain on a night when they are actually at home. It’s also curious that this change was made when the next season has one of the biggest fighters as a coach. Somehow having Chael Sonnen and Jon Jones is a lot bigger than someone like Shane Carwin or Dominick Cruz. This itself will easily lift the ratings.
What some people have to realize is that the show is going to be around for a while. Per the UFC’s contract with FOX, the show will have two seasons air per year, and the show has now went international. With a season of for Brazil in the bag, another on the way, a UK versus Australia finishing up, and with one for India and Canada – the long running reality program is long from gone. For now they are doing all they can to save the original Ultimate Fighter version here in the US, but the show is reaching more in other countries than it ever did here. Bottom line is, even if you think the format is now stale, it’s still the catalyst to the UFC’s success and they will not be giving it up anytime soon.