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FX feels marketing will be the key to TUF 16 success

In reactive mode to last season’s lukewarm ratings, FX has kicked up their efforts to sell the reality series that for nine years has provided the world with shirtless, heavily tattooed young men performing all sorts of repugnant ballyhoo on each other. Oh yeah, they fight too. Ratings have been in decline for a few years, and last season when the UFC debuted on FX with a new “live” format, they got even worse. So the execs at FX have decided to scrap the live fights and go back to the taped format, concentrating more on personal story lines to sell the series.

But the kicker is their new slogan. “The Ultimate Fighter Fridays…Welcome to the End of the Weak.”

That’s the jingle for season 16 of TUF, which is set to begin on September 14th. And here I thought marketing was a specialized profession requiring some serious skills. Not that it’s a bad slogan, per se. The “End of the Weak” part is clever, I suppose. But the show is barely about introducing new fighters anymore. It’s more about hyping the fight between the coaches. And most importantly, it’s a stale concept. There’s no easy way to revitalize a stale concept. This season will probably do slightly better than last, but only because the tension between Roy Nelson and Dana White has sparked a little interest. Aside from that, most of us will not turn down beer and wings at the local bar for TUF. We’ll DVR it, if we remember. If not, oh well, no biggy.

So can a nifty slogan attract more eyeballs? If the show wasn’t pushing a decade in age, perhaps. Now, even with all the garbage they’re competing against, it’s doubtful. They could have saved millions in marketing costs by just pulling a slogan out of their ass like, “May as Well, Aint Shit Else On.”

  • Reverend Clint

    Just do it already FX… Dancing with MMA Stars

  • http://www.mattpolly.com matthewpolly

    I have thought for years that they should bring back the Survivor-like contests from Season 1. They were silly, pointless, had nothing to do with actual fighting skills, and they risked injury, and that is exactly the point. They broke up the monotony of training (boring) and lounging around the house talking shit (boring). It made the fighters do things they were not comfortable or good at doing. Training every day and talking smack is there day to day job. And most fighters are as bored with it as any cubicle worker. Force them to do something fresh.

  • Stever

    I don’t think the actual fights on TUF are interesting at all.

    TUF was a chance for guys to watch soap operas with the guise of being a fight show. The drama was the fun part – as sad as it is to say.

    Maybe they will bring that back for this season and really amp it up… otherwise they have a show going on the dumper pretty fast.

  • Ricco

    Not sure it matters how good or bad the marketing is here.. the show is weak..

    The slogan should be “Come watch 16 complete no names battle it out for a shot at being a mid tier guy at best”…

    ok that slogan is a bit too long.

  • frickshun

    They need to bring back TEAM DAGGERRRRR.

  • http://www.mattpolly.com matthewpolly

    The rewards should be clearer. First we all know that not one but five or six guys from every show get a contract. Second, the contract is long-term and crappy. That’s why the best prospects refuse to participate. At the end of UFC 1, they handed Royce a check for $50k. They need to make it clear that winning TUF is actually valuable.

  • dlutter

    Stop showing anything about the house, boring.

    If a fighter loses, they leave the show.

    Show more training and explaining how and why things are done.

    Make all fights 3 rounds with announcers giving color to the fights and explaining what is happening will also help in building interest in the fights.

  • Reverend Clint

    revolving series of quality coaches or the guys train with both coaches, one guy gets the contract plus a nice check, have it somewhere else other than Vegas and have more shit to do other than get drunk and jizz in fruit. Hell let them have video games and film that… or let them lose on a farm with some acreage.

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