Ultimate Fighter LogoIt appears that Fox officials have finally acquiesced to the face that The Ultimate Fighter reality series is not drawing the TV ratings that it should since it moved over to the FX Network earlier this year.

Two seasons in and FX and the UFC are ready to come out guns a blazing for its next edition of the series, which will premier sometime in January… and on a new day of the week.

One of the biggest complaints about the series on FX has been that it airs on Friday nights. The shows key audience is Men 18-34 and Friday night is not a night that much of that crowd makes a point to stay home and watch television.

Fox officials defended the show’s positioning for quite some time, saying it was a “homerun” for a Friday night show. It appears they’re now ready to try and take it deeper in the yard, however, with a move to a weeknight beginning with The Ultimate Fighter season 17, featuring coaches Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen.

“The show is going to move off of Friday nights,” said FX executive vice president Chuck Saftler on a Wednesday conference call with select media. “Can’t confirm a day right now, but it’s definitely moving off of Friday. It’s definitely moving to a weekday.”

Saftler said that an announcement about the show’s move, premier date, etc., should come some time in the next 30 to 45 days, but interestingly, he also threw out a warning, which could also be constituted as an admission.

“I will say, Spike should watch their ass,” he volunteered.

Saftler went on to clarify his statement about Spike TV, and in the process, made it clear that there is a belief that Spike TV’s counterprogramming tactics have had an effect on TUF’s TV ratings on FX.

“Clearly Spike has been dogging us for most of this year with the launch of the two seasons of The Ultimate Fighter by trying to create viewer confusion and scheduling old episodes against The Ultimate Fighter as new content,” claimed Saftler.

“They’ll be out of the UFC game effective in January. They’re going to launch their own product. They’re going to try to launch their own reality show that competes with The Ultimate Fighter or does a very similar thing to The Ultimate Fighter with their Bellator product. We watched how they behaved and we’re well aware of their behavior and how they’ve acted competitively.”

Saftler wasn’t ready to commit to a strategy of pitting The Ultimate Fighter head-to-head with Spike TV’s Bellator programming next year, but he admitted, “We’re certainly going to watching how they schedule, what they schedule and where they schedule,” insinuating that a battle between the networks could be brewing.

Regardless of the programming battle with Spike TV, Saftler believes that they have a winning combination for ratings success in the New Year.

Fox executives never like to give hard numbers when it comes to ratings expectations, but Saftler tipped his hand ever so slightly.

“Certainly with Jones and Sonnen as the coaches for this upcoming season, we have probably the best casting that we’ve seen for this show and we have really high expectations for what the ratings will be as a result,” he stated.

“I think with the move off Friday and the casting, we have very, very big expectations for ratings.”

 Stay tuned to MMAWeekly.com for all of your UFC and Ultimate Fighter news and updates.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

ONE Headliner Ev Ting: ‘I’m Gonna Punch Him and He’s Gonna Fall Over’

  • 28 days ago
  • 8 views

Ev Ting will be moving up a division to face Rob Lisita in the main event of ONE: Unbreakable Warriors this weekend, but he's not lacking in confidence. read news >>

Moving from UFC to Bellator, Rory MacDonald Begins His Vision Quest

  • 28 days ago
  • 4 views

After 21 violent minutes, Rory MacDonald's arsenal was spent. Beyond his last breath, the Canadian contender had nothing left to give as he lay shattered on the Octagon canvas. Few people realized it read news >>

Kelvin Gastelum Faces Jorge Masvidal at the TUF: Latin America 3 Finale

  • 27 days ago
  • 10 views

Fifth-ranked 170-pound contender Kelvin Gastelum faces battle-tested veteran Jorge Masvidal at The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America 3 Finale in Mexico City. read news >>

TUF Latin America 3: Episode 2 Preview

  • 28 days ago
  • 36 views

Following a week of introductions as coaches Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin got to know the fighters and make their team selections, the first bout of the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter Lat read news >>

Knockout Radio LIVE: Eddie Gordon, TUF 24’s Matt Schnell, and UFC Hamburg Preview

  • 27 days ago
  • 3 views

Tune in Wednesday, Aug. 31, at 6 pm ET, for Knockout Radio LIVE! as they talk with Eddie Gordon and Matt Schnell, preview UFC Fight Night 93, and recap UFC on FOX 21. read news >>

Following Coaching Stint on TUF 24, Gaston Bolanos Takes Aim at Lion Fight Title

  • 27 days ago
  • 197 views

Gaston Bolanos will get a chance to challenge for his first major Muay Thai title when he takes on veteran Tum Sityodtong in a Lion Fight lightweight title bout. read news >>

Chael Sonnen Hit Hard by Joe Silva’s Retirement

  • 23 days ago
  • 227 views

Longtime UFC matchmaker Joe Silva, 20-plus years into his career, is calling it quits. Listen to Chael Sonnen's take on the gold standard for MMA matchmakers. read news >>

The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale: Team Benavidez vs Team Cejudo Event Page and Fight Card | MMAWeekly.com

  • 14 days ago
  • 43 views

TUF 24: Team Benavidez vs. Team Cejudo Finale fight card rumors and start times for Dec. 3, 2016, in Las Vegas, Nevada. read news >>

Daniel Cormier Irate if Jon Jones Fights Anthony Johnson with Interim Belt | MMAWeekly.com

  • 13 days ago
  • 289 views

UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier is not happy about the idea that Jon Jones could defend the interim title against Anthony Johnson in his return. read news >>

What if Jon Jones Returned at Heavyweight? Daniel Cormier and Cain Velasquez Don't Like It | MMAWeekly.com

  • 12 days ago
  • 73 views

What if Jon Jones returned to the Octagon as a heavyweight and fought Stipe Miocic? Daniel Cormier and Cain Velasquez tear the idea apart. read news >>