Challenge: Ride or Dies Ratings Survivor

100,000 New Challenge Viewers: What Does It Mean?

MTV should see potential in making calculated moves.

Episode 11 of Ride or Dies soared upwards in terms of viewership. The show is certainly pulling lower numbers than prior seasons, so movement of 100,000 viewers should not be overlooked, especially when it’s 18% higher than the previous week — which was one of the highest-performing weeks thus far.

So, what’s MTV going to do with this data?

Spoiler alert: Probably nothing. But this is what it should mean for the show.

In the past, similar increases of viewership usually happen in a few scenarios. There’s one like Invasion, which saw a bump because the Champions team was revealed. Or, a few seasons hasd episodes that saw isolated declines for some reason, then viewership recovered to the show’s baseline, like Camila’s racist rant on Dirty Thirty.

But those scenarios don’t apply here. On Ride or Dies, the big successes come on the trails of two other external situations.

Firstly, we’re approaching Christmas. Holiday breaks can be a good time to get viewers to watch the shows because people tend to be inside more, they have the ability to watch evening TV during its original run, and even time to catch up on old episodes. We’ve seen this happen before in the past (during Bloodlines), but it doesn’t always happen during this time of the year.

But, the bigger external factor: Survivor is over.

I will never understand why MTV voluntarily competes with Survivor, debatably the biggest reality show in the US and one of The Challenge’s feeder shows. But, this should be a clear message to production that people are skipping The Challenge to watch Survivor.

It’s also a strong sign that Survivor players could translate into Challenge interest. If production was smart, they’d work to bring more castaways onto The Challenge in the future.

However, they might reserve these people for The Challenge: USA if it happens again (and it seems likely as of right now). But don’t underestimate the importance of Survivor players on the flagship show. Jay & Michele added a lot of drama on Ride or Dies and are poised to become important fixtures in upcoming seasons.

If this happens, people will watch. But if production keeps forcing The Challenge to compete against Survivor, the show is squandering its potential. It’d be much smarter to bump The Challenge to 9 p.m. so it airs directly after Survivor.

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