In March, following one season that comprised eight episodes, TBS decided that it didn’t see enough out of Dana White’s Power Slap to renew it for a second season.
According to White, had they simply checked the social media metrics, they’d have seen that they had the chance to broadcast the most popular sports property in the world.
That’s apparently going to pay off for Rumble, an online video platform and web hosting company that hosts Truth Social and is popular among American right and far-right users, which is now the exclusive home of Power Slap content.
White spoke with reporters recently about the state of Power Slap, saying that his new broadcast deal with Rumble is more lucrative than UFC’s old distribution deal with Spike TV.
Dana White says Power Slap's social metrics are greater than "the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, F1, WWE" combined. pic.twitter.com/yTlEEHtYNZ
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) May 7, 2023
“It’s been incredible. The deal that I just got for Slap is bigger than the UFC deal we got with Spike after the first season of The Ultimate Fighter,” said White. “I don’t give a **** what the media says about it. They don’t matter.”
White then went on to say that when you take social media numbers into account, there isn’t an American sport bigger than Power Slap.
“Not only is it unbelievable money-wise, it’s been unbelievable as far as social media goes,” said White. “We’re number one in all of sports. And when I say all of sports, if you take the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, F1, WWE, and who am I forgetting, and added them all together, their numbers don’t compare to Slap’s.”
Awful Announcing perused Power Slap’s social media account on Sunday night and found that they currently have 120,000 YouTube subscribers, 21,900 Twitter followers, 3.2 million TikTok followers, 868,000 Instagram followers, 177,000 Facebook followers, and 65,900 subscribers on their Rumble channel.
The NBA alone has 83 million Instagram followers, 19.2 million TikTok followers, and 20.4 million YouTube subscribers. Meanwhile, total video views across Formula One’s own digital platforms and social media in 2022 reached 4.9 billion. And as for WWE, they boast over 94 million YouTube subscribers, 21.3 million TikTok followers, 13.2 million Twitter followers, 28.1 million Instagram followers, and 42 million Facebook fans.
If we take White as his word, a social media following that large would lead you to believe that Power Slap was pulling in monster ratings on TBS. It’s strange, however, to note that it premiered with 295,000 viewers on January 18, peaked with 413,000 viewers on January 25, and finished with just 220,000 viewers on March 8.
What might account for the difference between White’s perception of Power Slap’s social media prowess and the lack of actual interest? It might have something to do with Power Slap playing fast and loose with their Twitter engagement during live events, which implies that some of those numbers might not be as legit as hoped. But even if they are for real, it’s certainly not the kind of social media world domination that White is implying exists.
White will probably say that we’re lying but, like so many things in life, the proof is right there in the numbers.