Dana White’s Power Slap League held its big inaugural season Finale show inside UFC APEX this past weekend (Sat., March 11, 2023) in Las Vegas, Nevada. And while the event wasn’t on pay-per-view (PPV) as originally intended, it pulled a pretty robust 2.1 million viewers on YouTube alternative, Rumble.
It’s worth noting, though, that the Power Slap stream was up and live since Friday night and anyone clicking on it for the 24 hours it was prominently featured on the site got counted in those numbers. The viewing numbers for Power Slap on TBS weren’t so hot. The Ultimate Fighter-style reality show episodes of Slap lost viewers week-by-week until the season finale drew just 220,000 viewers.
During the Power Slap post-slap press conference (watch it here), White explained how he viewed those numbers.
“Watch what happens in the next two years with this thing,” he said. “And if you look at the progression of UFC, we started on Spike TV with a deal, from Spike TV we went to FOX, from FOX we went to ESPN. And this will play out the same way, except I believe the Spikes, FOXs, and ESPNs will end up being social platforms. Everything is heading that way.
“We’re f—ing thrilled with the Rumble deal,” White added later. “Very happy to be on Rumble and they’re the perfect platform for us right now. This whole thing for us has been a seven month test, because we go back to last march when we really started kicking this thing around and playing with it. So this has been a test, there’s no doubt, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out where this thing should air and where it should be.
“So we’re in the right place at the right time, Rumble is our Spike TV, when we started on Spike. Perfect, literally perfect for us. I’m thrilled,” he added.
We can’t complain about the technical side of Rumble. In a world where even ESPN+ is constantly glitching out, the stream for Power Slap was nice and clean and buffer-free. However, we do want to point out that there’s a pretty bad issue with racism on the site, which made the chat portion of the event pretty gross to look at.
March 12, 2023
This is just a few examples of what was going on in there, Twitter user EyesOnTheInsides screencapped more than one-dozen pages of overtly racist messaging in the Rumble chat for Power Slap in the few minutes he followed it.
As for the poor television ratings, first off White claims they weren’t bad, but good, actually. Second off, no one watches television anymore!
“There was a lot of criticism about the TV ratings,” White said. “People are so full of s— it’s f—ing — first off, what do any of these people know about TV ratings, number one. And like I told ya, the thing averaged 375,000 viewers on TBS with zero advertising from the network. Zero. We held 50 percent of the AEW audience.
“And the night that Kyrie moved over to Dallas and Dallas played the Clippers, that was on ESPN,” he continued. “What had more publicity and attention than Kyrie moving to Dallas? That had 575,000 viewers. We did 317,000 at the exact same time. They were on ESPN, we’re on TBS. We were number two with men on all television, they were number one.
“That’s an incredible number, especially when this thing skews younger, and none of these people watch TV,” he concluded. “These kids don’t watch TV, none of them. They watch on their phones or the computer.”
So, for those hoping that Power Slap would end after one season? Sorry. White is already working on a two-year deal with Rumble, and a deal to bring Season 2 to Abu Dhabi for an international edition of Power Slap.
For complete results, reactions and video for Dana White’s Power Slap Finale 1 click here.