The success of the UFC was born from the success of The Ultimate Fighter, which debuted in Jan of 2005 on Spike. The final fight of the first season, between lightheavyweights Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar, was so compelling that the future of the sport was assured.
When the UFC moved their programming from the Viacom owned Spike to FOX in a deal in 2011 for a reported $700,000,000, Spike determined to reproduce TUF with a new show in which prospects compete for a fight contract, in this case a sort of tournament to get into a tournament.
Spike's Fight Master had a novel and accurate feature in which fighters choose from one of four coaches, and launched to generally positive reviews. However, initial viewerss were an underwhelming 432,000. Views trended upward for a few episodes, but then dropped, reaching 398,000 last week.
Now the show is being moved out of primetime to Thursdays at 11:00 p.m. Fight Master now follows TNA IMPACT Wrestling, which airs from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., and could provide some crossover traffic.
It is unknown if Fight Master will get picked up for a second season.
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