New York, NY, April 3, 2009 — Unlike most television series which suffer ratings decline as they get older, the ratings for “The Ultimate Fighter” are like fine wine, getting better with age.
The season nine premiere of “The Ultimate Fighter: U.S. vs. U.K.” on Wednesday, April 1 drew its highest rating in Men 18-49 since Season 4 (August, 2006) and its most watched season premiere since Season 5 (April, 2007). The episode also drew more Men 18-34 and 18-49 than anything else on cable in its timeslot (10:15-11:15pm ET/PT), besting all sports competition including the NBA on ESPN.
Overall, the series drew a 1.8 in M18-49, a 2.1 in M18-34, a 2.7 in M25-34, and an average audience of 1.8 million viewers.
This season, the two “Ultimate Fighter” teams are divided based on nationality, with eight mixed martial artists from Great Britain and eight from the United States. “The Ultimate Fighter 3” champion and top middleweight contender Michael Bisping coaches the Brits, and former concurrent PRIDE champion of the 185 lbs and 205 lbs divisions and U.S. Olympian Dan Henderson, coaches the U.S. squad.
Prior to the season premiere of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Spike TV aired the first-ever live UFC fight from Nashville, TN headlined by welterweights Carlos Condit and Martin Kampmann. The “UFC Fight Night” delivered 1.9 million viewers and, like “The Ultimate Fighter,” drew more Men 18-34 and 18-49 than anything in its timeslot (8:00-10:15pm ET/PT).
Overall, the “UFC Fight Night” delivered a 1.7 among M18-49, a 2.1 for M18-34, a 2.7 in M25-34, and attracted an average audience of 1.9 million viewers.