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

Rafael dos Anjos vs. Tony Ferguson Confirmed TUF Latin America 3 Finale Headliner

  • 28 days ago
  • 12 views

The UFC confirmed on Tuesday night that a lightweight showdown between Rafael dos Anjos and Tony Ferguson will headline TUF Latin America 3 Finale. read news >>

Chael Sonnen Rails on Association of Boxing Commissions’ Rules Changes (Video)

  • 24 days ago
  • 37 views

Chael Sonnen isn't cheering the ABC's recent MMA rules changes, particularly when it comes to the rule about what constitutes a downed fighter. read news >>

Jon Jones Takes Plea Deal in Drag Racing Case

  • 20 days ago
  • 37 views

Jon Jones, already on probation for a felony hit-and-run case, accepted a plea deal in Albuquerque Metropolitan Court on Thursday. read news >>

Where Are They Now? Episode 6: Shonie Carter

  • 17 days ago
  • 35 views

Shonie Carter showed up to the Comeback season of TUF with a suitcase of neon shirts and an even louder personality. What’s he been doing since? read news >>

Jon Jones Teases Quick Return from USADA Suspension in Instagram Post

  • 16 days ago
  • 23 views

Jon Jones has had a rough 12 months, but the former UFC light heavyweight champ feels like things are starting to turn around. That seems to be the case, at least, as Jones indicated he may be back i read news >>

Jon Jones Says He’ll Be Back in the Octagon ‘Really Soon’

  • 16 days ago
  • 24 views

UFC interim light heavyweight champion Jon Jones sounds as if he's come into some good news regarding his UFC Anti-Doping Policy case. read news >>

Dana White Says it Looks Like Jon Jones Took ‘Something Else,’ Could Be Good News

  • 15 days ago
  • 107 views

Dana White on Tuesday appeared to back Jon Jones' recent statement that he could be back really soon. read news >>

Tommy Aaron Looks to Remain Undefeated at Friday’s RFA 42

  • 15 days ago
  • 6 views

Always humble, Tommy Aaron looks to remain undefeated at Friday's RFA 42 in Visalia, Calif. read news >>

Anthony Johnson Video: Stop Talking About Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones, I Have to Fight Glover

  • 14 days ago
  • 11 views

Anthony "Rumble" Johnson has a big fight in front of him in the form of Glover Teixeira at UFC 202 on Aug. 20. If it's all the same with you, he'd really like it if everyone would quit asking him abo read news >>

Glover Teixeira Focused on Anthony Johnson, Doesn’t Really Care About Jon Jones (UFC 202 Video)

  • 14 days ago
  • 7 views

Glover Teixeira could be lined up for a title fight is he gets past Anthony "Rumble" Johnson at UFC 202 on Aug. 20, but all everyone wants to talk about is Jon Jones. read news >>