Dana White’s ‘Power Slap League’ Sees TV Ratings Rise, May Introduce Sports Betting

Videos by OutKick

Dana White’s Power Slap has had a somewhat chaotic rollout, but it’s not affecting the “sport” so far where it matters – in the ratings.

The newly launched “fight league,” led by UFC President Dana White had a significant rise in the ratings this past Wednesday during the second week installment of it’s weekly TBS program.

“Power Slap League,” which airs at 10pm ET saw a rise from 295,000 viewers in its debut to 413,000 viewers this past Wednesday. It drew a 0.13 rating among 18-49 year-old viewers and finished 30th in all of cable broadcasts this week. That was up from 50th just a week ago.

The ratings increase isn’t what critics of the sport were hoping for. Some journalists and some medical professionals have called for the league to amend its rules or be stopped altogether because of the disturbing optics of it.

But it is exactly those optics that is what is making Power Slap League apparently so engaging to the audience. At least that’s what President Frank Lamicella believes. He and UFC Hall of Famer Forrest Griffin spoke with OutKick’s Mike “Gunz” Gunzelman about the controversy and perhaps misunderstandings of the PSL.

His comments echo what Dana White has previously said.


What does the future of Power Slap League look like?

It’s not entirely clear.

One thing for certain is that Lamicella, White and investors didn’t go into this thinking it was a one-and-done and that it was automatically set up for failure. They are 100% backing it.

Lamicella explained that they knew they would face much of the criticism that they are receiving. In fact – they expected it. He likens it to the public outcry when Mixed Martial Arts (and the UFC) began its rise and moved from just a niche sport with a specific following, to a much more popular one.

One way that Lamicella may be validated?

Sports betting.

He explained that there is a growing interest in having some sort of betting component to the League. Lamicella says it comes down to the ultimate one-on-one individual betting that many bettors have interest in.


Power Slap is a legally sanctioned sport that involves two opponents slapping each other in a controlled environment for a series of pre-determined rounds. There are rules on how and where a person can slap. There also are penalties issued for those that don’t follow them. Each slapper has a mouth guard and ear protection as well as designated “catchers” like Forrest Griffin who are there to protect the slapper if they fall.

As seen in the clips above, Lamicella and the company stress that safety is the biggest priority for the sport as it continues to become more talked about across social media and apparently, on television as well.

We will see if the buzz – which a lot is coming through social media (along with some criticism) continues.

Written by Mike Gunzelman

Mike “Gunz” Gunzelman has been involved in the sports and media industry for over a decade. He’s also a risk taker - the first time he ever had sushi was from a Duane Reade in Penn Station in NYC.


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  1. As much as MMA approaches the type of vile that occurred at the Roman Games in the Coliseum, this slap league exceeds that be a mile. I’m waiting for someone to be permanently injured and disabled participating in that ‘sport’. I’m not wishing for it, but am expecting it to happen.

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