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TUF 17 Finale prelims score big on FUEL TV

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Not only did the main card from last Saturday's Ultimate Fighter finals become the second most-watched UFC event in its 16 months on FX, but the prelims also scored big.

The two-hour Fuel broadcast from 7-9 p.m. Eastern time, featuring four fights with members of the cast of season 17 of The Ultimate Fighter reality show did a 0.56 rating and 269,000 viewers. That would be the second-highest rated and second most-watched show of any kind ever on FUEL TV.

The show peaked at 347,000 viewers for the Josh Samman vs. Kevin Casey fight.

The show continued a pattern of UFC ratings increases on Fuel. The five most-watched shows in the history of the station have now all been from the past three months, and all were UFC broadcasts.

The main card, headlined by Urijah Faber vs. Scott Jorgensen, did a 1.2 rating and 1,710,000 viewers on FX, the second-biggest numbers for any UFC show on that station, although still well below what the biggest live shows on Spike used to draw..

The FUEL all-time record, by a considerable margin, remains the March 2 airing of a live event from Saitama, Japan, headlined by Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann, which did a 0.78 rating and 485,000 viewers.

Saturday's show also marked the fourth-highest full night in prime time in Fuel history.

In addition, the weigh-ins for the TUF finals, airing on April 12 at 6 p.m. Eastern, did 126,000 viewers. It was the third most watched weigh-in in the 16 months since they've aired on Fuel.

What is most impressive is using comparison points between the TUF 17 finals and TUF 16 finals on Dec. 15. The prelims of that season's finale did 96,000 viewers and the weigh-ins did 42,000 viewers.

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