NEW YORK, NY, June 23, 2009 – This past Saturday, June 20, the UFC was once again the undisputed champion in sports on television among young men. The live finale of the ninth season of "The Ultimate Fighter," airing Saturday June 20 (9:00pm-12:00am), drew more men in the advertiser-coveted demographic of Men 18-34 (663,000) than MLB baseball on FOX (184,000) and coverage of U.S. Open golf on NBC (384,000) which ran earlier that day.
The live UFC fight card, which peaked at 2.8 million viewers for the main event featuring Diego Sanchez and Clay Guida, was the most watched-program in all of television in Men 18-34 and Men 18-49.
Also, bucking the trend of most reality series, "The Ultimate Fighter" finale ratings for season nine were the highest since season six and the full season of 13 episodes were the highest in Men 18-34 since season five, illustrating the growing popularity in the sport of mixed martial arts and the UFC brand on Spike.
Overall, the "The Ultimate Fighter: Team US vs. Team UK" delivered a 1.5 household rating, a 2.1 in Men 18-49 (1.2 million), a 2.3 in M18-34 (663,000), a 2.8 in M25-34 (468,000) and 2.2 million total viewers.
Many had hyped Guida vs. Sanchez as a possible "Fight of the Year" candidate, and the two warriors more than lived up to the hype in a three round war that left the sold out crowd at The Palms Casino Resort clamoring for more, as Sanchez won via split decision in a fifteen minute instant UFC classic. The fight drew an impressive 3.1 rating in Men 18-34 and 3.3 in Men 25-34.
Those are very strong numbers. It is rather impressive that TUF has maintained a constant number of viewers over the past 4 years or so. The scary and great thing though, is that The Ultimate Fighter 10 will probably surpass these numbers if everything falls into place.