MMAWeekly.com has the stats on last weeks The Ultimate Fighter 5 premiere which did surprisingly low numbers:
The season premiere of The Ultimate Fighter 5, which aired on Spike TV on April 5th, drew an overall rating of 1.4. This puts the TUF 5 premiere in a tie with the premiere of the very first season of The Ultimate Fighter for the lowest-rated premiere episode in series history, as the TUF 1 premiere also drew a 1.4 overall rating.
The majority of the episode drew a 1.3 rating, but the show-closing fight between Cole Miller and Alan Berube drew a 1.5 rating, increasing the average for the hour.
The pertinent question now is whether or not TUF 5’s ratings will decrease as the season progresses, as was the case with TUF 4. It would still be a successful show if it can draw a 1.4 overall rating every week. However, if the ratings were to decrease over the course of the season to the extent that TUF 4’s ratings decreased, the show would fall well below the series’ ratings expectations and it would be an alarming sign.
I was not overly impressed with the premiere. It had the fireworks I expected but I just didn’t see the personalities any good reality show needs. With most reviews calling this one of the best seasons yet I think the personalities will emerge eventually. I don’t think we should dwell on this too much but if the numbers continue to drop the UFC may need to change their game plan.