I’m so bummed out for the XFL, because I personally love the product.
Compared to XFL 2.0 in 2020 (which was ultimately cut short because of the COVID-19 pandemic), XFL 3.0 here in 2023 suffered a 50% viewership drop for its ABC/ESPN televised Week 1 games, according to SportsMediaWatch.com.
The very first game between my Vegas Vipers and Arlington Renegades, which was broadcast on ABC, brought in 1.54 million viewers — a 54% decrease from the 3.3 million who watched the first game in 2020, also on ABC. And the number has the potential to be even larger, considering 2020’s ratings didn’t include out-of-home viewership.
2023’s XFL viewership ratings also fell behind the 3.07 million the United States Football League (USFL) put up in its 2022 debut, and the 3.25 million pulled in by the Alliance of American Football (AAF) in 2019. However, all of those games were played in primetime, rather than in the afternoon like the XFL.
BREAKING: #XFL Opening Week Ratings, per Skedball
Arlington/Vegas (ABC): 1.53M
Orlando/Houston (ESPN): 751k
SA/St. Louis (ABC): 1.57M
DC/Seattle (ESPN): 918k
The XFL didn’t crack 1 million viewers on both of their ESPN games. Major drop from week one in 2020.
— James Larsen (@JamesLarsenPFN) February 22, 2023
Man … as someone who got sucked into the product in Week 1 and actually got nervous at the end of the Vegas Vipers game (I’ve become a legitimate fan), this is quite disappointing to see.
If you’re one of those people who is a football fan, but just has no interest in watching the XFL, I ask that you please give it a chance. I’m telling you, it’s a solid product. I personally got sucked into the game with my Vipers, and nerves actually got involved, which made it even more fun. Pick a team and give it a try, it’s good football. (RELATED: Deion Sanders Accomplishes Earth-Shattering Ticket Sale Increase For Colorado Buffaloes Football)
Would it help if I told you it has a partnership with the NFL?
Today, the XFL returns.
After filing for bankruptcy in 2020, the revamped league has:
▪️ Team in 8 cities
▪️ New ownership group
▪️ Partnership with the NFL
▪️ Broadcast deal with Disney
▪️ Uniform deal with Under Armour pic.twitter.com/GFiBRuPHHj
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) February 18, 2023
Give it a shot.