Despite UFC President Dana White’s preference for the fights on The Ultimate Fighter to remain live it appears the show will return to its pre-taped format in an effort to boost ratings. In an interview with Yahoo’s Kevin Iole, White revealed the results of a meeting with FX executives.
While the show will remain in its current 10PM time slot, White believes that if “this next season isn’t up to the standards I expect, they promised me we can move it to Tuesday or Wednesday.” The next season will begin in September and focus on welterweights.
FX insists the show has been a huge success for them, trailing only ESPN in the UFC’s key demographic on Friday nights. While the event has been a big success for FX, it has fallen short of White’s expectations of 3 million viewers. FX wants to keep the show on Friday nights, says White:
“FX wants to try it again on Friday nights, 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.”
White also believes that shifting back to the pre-taped format will allow the show to delve into the fighter’s lives as much as the show usually did in previous seasons.
White also insists that most of the perception that the show was doing poorly is because Spike TV leaked the ratings and counter-programmed the show. White believes the smaller viewership was mostly due in part to the change in nights.
One thing is certain, the fall season will be one to pay attention to.