Dana White’s slap-fighting league reverberates with viewers as much as the competitor’s faces in slow-mo on the show.
The second weekly installment of “Power Slap” on TBS netted 413,000 viewers — a nearly 30% improvement over its Jan. 18 debut. The reality show/slap fighting competition jumped from 45th to 30th in overall Wednesday ratings, pulling in a 1.3 rating compared to a 1.0 a week ago, according to ShowBuzzDaily.
For an episodic show like “Power Slap,” it can be tough just to retain its debut audience. There are a few factors. However, that could explain the Week 2 gains.
- The show’s premiere was pushed back a week after White, the longtime president of UFC, had physical confrontation with his wife on New Year’s Eve was caught on video. That led TBS to delay the debut by one week.
- As a result, there wasn’t much advance promotion on TBS or other Warner Media properties ahead of the first episode.
- The debut was dissected on social media, potentially sparking more to tune in on Wednesday.
The show’s lead-in, All Elite Wrestling (AEW), again lured in the third-most viewers Wednesday after ESPN’s two NBA game broadcasts. This week’s AWE’s broadcast drew 1 million viewers, a nearly 4% bump over Jan. 18.
“Power Slap” follows the same format as “The Ultimate Fighter,” a show that helped make MMA mainstream when it first hit the air in 2005. In Wednesday’s show, White and others behind the series selected which fighters would make it into “the house” where the power slappers live while the show is shot.
The strikers will be eliminated over the coming weeks to two finalists from the three men’s weight divisions. There’s also a women’s division.
White said in the opening episode that the finals would be put on a pay-per-view.