TUF 31 Featuring Conor McGregor & Michael Chandler As Coaches Does Under 300k Viewership For First Episode

Conor McGregor's TUF 31 return garners 294k average viewership and it airs live on ESPN tuesday night.

Conor Mcgregor TUF 31
Image Credit: UFC's Instagram

The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) is back for its 31st season and Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler are serving as coaches.

With McGregor and Chandler as coaches, many expected to tune back into TUF and watch the dramatics. Yet, after the first episode last Tuesday, the ratings did not live up to the hype. 

According to MMAFighting, TUF 31 averaged 294,000 viewers and according to the Neilsen ratings, TUF 31 finished at No. 11 overall on cable on Tuesday night, earning a .14 share in the coveted 18-to-49 year old demographic, which is the key sector when it comes to advertising on television. Meanwhile, the ratings were way down from the last time McGregor was a coach as the show debuted with 622,000 average viewers with the broadcast on FOX Sports 1, when the Irishman coached against Urijah Faber in 2015.

Although under 300k viewership for TUF 31 is likely disappointing, the last time TUF was on cable was TUF 28 which saw Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum as coaches. That season debuted with just 186k average viewership, and the following next two seasons were then put on ESPN+.

McGregor-Chandler fight date

With Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler serving as coaches of TUF 31, the expectation is the two will fight at the end of this year or early next. However, Dana White recently halted expectations and said it is hard for him to reel in McGregor to take a fight.

“First of all, Conor called me a couple days ago and loved the first episode of The Ultimate Fighter, and saying how happy he was to be a part of it,” White continued. “And I think being here and part of the environment and everything else, he felt it again and felt like he wants to get back and fight. The one thing you guys have to understand is this kid has so much money. It’s like Khabib [Nurmagomedov] now. These guys got s***-loads of money and it’s hard to reel these guys back in and get them fired up to get in and fight,” White said after TUF 31.

The second episode of TUF 31 is set to go down on TUF 31. The season features UFC veterans vs. prospects.

Published on June 6, 2023 at 11:02 am
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