The Ultimate Fighter going back to taped format next season
In effort to boost ratings.
According to a report by Yahoo! Sports' Kevin Iole, the UFC has opted to revert back to the previously-used taped format next season, for the promotion's popular reality show The Ultimate Fighter.
This past season of "TUF" was the first on FX--as part of the UFC's seven-year deal with FOX that officially began this year.
Between little tension between coaches Urijah Faber and Dominick Cruz, uninteresting personalities outside of eventual winner Michael Chiesa and troublemaker Chris Tickle, and on top of that, a new time slot on Friday night, "TUF" saw its ratings fall to record lows. The show averaged a 1.7 million viewers during its 14-season run on Spike TV, prior to being moved to FX.
The UFC and FX are hopeful that the original taped format will lead to better ratings and more engaging storylines to draw viewers in. With the live format, it was hard to focus on whomever because the UFC didn't if Chiesa for example, would win or lose. In the case of the taped format, the beauty of editing and knowing what occurs in the season before viewers do allows them to showcase fighters that go far in the tournament.
"FX wants to try it again on Friday nights," UFC president Dana White said to Yahoo. "But if it's not up to the standards I'm expecting, I'm pretty sure they'll give me what I want. But this season was a smash hit home run for them."
"TUF's" live season ended in a whimper, with an all-time low of number of viewers at 821,000 for the second to last episode, as well as 875,000 for the final. The Ultimate Fighter Live Finale card on FX averaged slightly over one million viewers--which pales in comparison to the "TUF 14" finale on Spike late last year that averaged 2.5 million.
No coaches and tryout dates have been announced for next season as of press time.
Check out our interview w/ UFC Hall of Famer Dan "The Beast" Severn: