There’s been a game of chicken going on between the UFC, Bellator, and their respective new TV girlfriends over which weeknight their reality shows will air, and it looks like the UFC/FX has made their move. Probably not due to any lack of balls on their part, but more because channels that have half-decent programming like to plan such things in advance.
An advertisement in the new issue of “UFC 360,” formerly known as “UFC Magazine,” declares the upcoming 17th season of “The Ultimate Fighter” debuts on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 9 p.m. ET.
UFC and FX officials have yet to make an official announcement, however representatives from both companies have since confirmed the change with MMAjunkie.com. UFC President Dana White was a little more coy.
“That day sounds good to me,” White told MMAjunkie.com.
I bet it does, since it just happens to be the same night as “Sons of Anarchy”, which is FX’s biggest show ever. Coincidentally, “SOA” wraps up its 5th season tonight, but another popular show “Justified” takes over that timeslot in January, and TUF gets the spot right before it. And if they don’t start calling it “TUF Tuesdays”, I’ll spoon with Rin Nakai.
As for Bellator, their counter-programming threat wasn’t just about the proposed TUF knock-off, but also the events themselves. They can’t be happy with the lousy numbers they’re pulling on Fridays, so might as well switch nights at the same time they switch channels. Nothing’s official yet, but they’re already booking venues on Thursdays in January, so I guess we have our answer. Their reality show is still a big question mark, but even as a Bellator fan, I have to answer that with another question: who cares? The talent in TUF is often bad enough relative to the “real” UFC, now think of Bellator’s talent pool and imagine a TUF equivalent of that.