Wednesday’s debut of UFC president Dana White’s slap-fighting league finished behind “1000-LB Best Friends” and “House Hunters” but drew a decent audience.
“Power Slap: Road to the Title” on TBS drew an audience of 295,000 with a .10 rating to make it the 45th-most-watched show Wednesday, according to ShowBuzzDaily. Viewers were treated to multiple participants suffering apparent concussions as they traded slaps around a small circular table.
The series debut was pushed back a week after White was caught on video having a physical altercation with his wife on New Year’s Eve. In its place on Jan. 11 were reruns of “Young Sheldon,” which were not among the top 150 shows on the day.
Warner Media, the parent company of TBS, didn’t state why the show was delayed. White told reporters it was because he could not do a media tour to promote the show following the physical altercation with his wife.
The first knockout came within the first three minutes of the show as competitor Chris Thomas crumpled opponent Chris Kennedy, whose arms went into a fencing position that is a telltale sign of a traumatic brain injury.
The Nevada Athletic Commission approved slap-fighting in October.
“In order for ‘Power Slap’ to be an officially sanctioned sport, we had to set up health and safety guidelines similar to what we did in the UFC,” White said during the episode. “We have doctors on hand in every fight to evaluate fighters and to protect them for their overall safety. This is the real deal, and we take it very seriously.”
The Dallas Mavericks-Atlanta Hawks game (1.2 million viewers) and the Minnesota Timberwolves-Denver Nuggets game (1 million viewers) on ESPN drew in the largest audience. The end of the first game and the first half of the second game aired opposite of “Power Slap.”
No. 3 was the “Power Slap” lead-in, an All Elite Wrestling (AEW) event with a .31 rating and an estimated audience of 969,000.