Dana White’s Power Slap League may be guilty of manufacturing its social media engagement.
The UFC’s president’s much-maligned pet project has struggled to maintain ratings during its first season of Power Slap: Road to the Title on TBS. Airing on March 8, the season finale dropped to a record low of 220,000 viewers, finishing as the 106th-rated show on cable for the night. The poor ratings forced White to alter plans for the live tournament final, moving it from pay-per-view to the third-tier streaming platform, Rumble.
Despite poor viewership and a fairly consistent decline in ratings over the last two months, Power Slap has succeeded by all accounts due to its substantial social media numbers. However, not everything may be on the up and up as pointed out by Matthew Wells, a managing editor for MMA Junkie. Wells provided screenshots of tweets that aired during the live broadcast on Saturday and noted that the accounts responsible for the tweets had been inactive for months.
Adding insult to injury, Wells found that searching for the exact quote led to no results on the social media platform, indicating that the tweets were not even real.
— Matthew Wells (@MrMWells) March 12, 2023
Power Slap has received criticism since White first announced its inception late last year. Fans and fighters alike, with a few exceptions, have called for the so-called sports to be disbanded, citing everything from the potential permanent brain damage the participants risk to the embarrassingly low pay offered to the men and women competing. Recently, former Nevada State Athletic Commission chairman Stephen J. Cloobeck admitted that he “made a mistake” by sanctioning slap-fighting in the state.
No official announcement has been made, but Dana White confirmed that he is currently looking over offers for at least two more seasons of Power Slap. TBS has not confirmed whether or not they are part of those negotiations.