'TUF 13' Premiere Earns 1.5 Million Viewers

By Mike Whitman Mar 31, 2011
Season 13 of "The Ultimate Fighter" got off to a strong start. | Sherdog.com

Season 13 of “The Ultimate Fighter” kicked off on Wednesday night, and the premiere netted an average of 1.5 million viewers for the hour-long broadcast on cable network Spike TV.

Network officials emailed Sherdog.com the viewership numbers on Thursday, noting that the show's first episode scored a 1.0 household rating. Additionally, episode one reportedly earned the highest viewership numbers for men 18-34 and 18-49 in its time slot, scoring ratings of 1.93 and 1.51 in those respective categories. The program airs at 9 p.m. ET, and an immediate replay of the broadcast scored an additional 633,000 viewers.

This season of the UFC's long-running reality show pits heavyweight contenders Brock Lesnar and Junior dos Santos against each other as coaches. The pair will coach a team of welterweight up-and-comers until only two remain at the end of the season. The finalists will then square off in the main event of the season finale, which will likely go down June 4 from the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.

Episode one saw dos Santos draw first blood, as his first pick, Shamar Bailey, earned a unanimous decision victory over Lesnar's last pick, Nordin Asrih.

The show's ratings bar was set high in Season 10 of the reality show, which featured a slew of notable heavyweight names, including popular street fighter-turned-mixed martial artist Kimbo Slice. The premiere for that season earned 4.1 million viewers.

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