AAF draws 2.9 million viewers for CBS opener

AP

The Alliance of American Football drew what should be considered a fairly successful audience for its first game.

Via Sports TV Ratings, the first AAF game, which aired on CBS on Saturday night, ‏averaged 2.913 million viewers between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. Eastern. That’s a far cry from what any NFL game draws, but by the standards of most network television programming on a Saturday night, it was solid.

By way of comparison, the NBA game on ABC drew 2.524 million viewers during that same 9-11 time slot.

For another comparison, last Saturday night on CBS was the NFL Honors awards show, which drew 3.42 million viewers.

The big question facing the AAF, of course, is whether fans were curious to tune in as a one-time thing and will now tune the league out, or whether it can grow that fan base. For the rest of the regular season, the AAF will be on TNT, NFL Network, CBS Sports Network or the streaming B/R Live service, and it’s fair to assume that none of those outlets will ever get 2.9 million viewers for an AAF game.

But if the AAF can top 3 million for its championship game, which airs on CBS in April, that would be a strong indication that the fans are there. And that the AAF will make it to 2020, and maybe beyond.

18 responses to “AAF draws 2.9 million viewers for CBS opener

  1. Not a bad start. I found the Commanders-Fleet game very exciting. The pace of the game really works, and LOVE the reduced commercials. The XFL has the advantage of being in bigger markets. An AAF-XFL merger next year makes sense. That would lead to many more viewers tuning in.

    Keep watching folks. It’s football, the #1 game in America.

  2. I like this league as a place to develop ideas and try out new things. But I gotta say it: although I LOVE football enough to think about it, read about it, and be an active part of it year-round, when confronted with the option of watching more football shortly after the Super Bowl, I simply wasn’t interested. I need time away from the game itself. I like the year-round cycle the NFL presents and this time of year, I like thinking about free agency, the combine, the draft, OTAs, TC, and all of their related concerns. This is the part of the year when the sport exhales. I do, too.

  3. That game isn’t going to draw people back. Neither offense could move the ball and the QB play was awful. That isn’t good viewership as I didn’t even know the NFL Honors was even televised. Boxing does better numbers and they don’t have to worry about full rosters and filling stadiums.

  4. It’s a different tv ratings world. 2.9 isn’t ok. Opening night figured to be their max audience. They won’t be on CBS until the end of the year. In the meantime, getting 500 thousand to a million viewers per game on their cable outlets would be passable. The key is what the figure is by late April, when they have another game on CBS.

  5. Also had something like 30k fans at the game in San Antonio which very much surprised me. I figured they’d be lucky to draw 5k.

    For guys that have only had a month to practice together and learn systems the game was pretty entertaining. Some big plays. Defenses allowed to hit. The transparency with the refs audio.

    Very nice product and the league seems well run and organized.

  6. AAF > than NBA. LMAO. You listening LeBron?

    NBA is international, the next CBA for the NBA is going to make the NFL salaries look like peanuts.

  7. mdintino1420 says:

    February 10, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    An AAF-XFL merger next year makes sense. That would lead to many more viewers tuning in.

    __________________

    That would never happen as the AAF already a dozen of times said their goal is to be a developmental league to the NFL.

  8. I have 2 major issues. First, I have literally no rooting interest. All the teams are southern teams. I get that they probably want nice weather to play outside, but the XFL seems to be working around that. The XFL at least offers teams in my geographic area. The AAF actively chose to not include half the country. Second, what is it exactly? Is it a league where washed up NFL players can play? How do the contracts work, can they get out of them to go to the NFL? Can a player make a career out of the AAF? If that’s the case, it’s a separate league, like what the XFL is. But they are promoting it as a developmental league. So does Trent Richardson (age 27) and Matt Asiata (age 31) develop over the next 3 years (length of the contracts) and get another crack at the NFL long after RBs are finished? It just seems confusing to me.

  9. I watched the San Diego vs San Antonio game. They need to do a way better job of promoting the players. For instance, when a DB from Oklahoma makes a play, they should weave in some highlights of him playing at Oklahoma, and show a clip of him being announced during his NFL draft. They also need to bring in Mike Lombardi and pay him whatever it takes. He has a great resume and he can spin it like nobody else. He worked for Walsh, Belichick, and others. He’ll promote the heck out of the players, and he’s very convincing. After all, the whole idea is to give exposure to players who might have fallen through the cracks for some reason, but have the ability to play in the NFL.

  10. charliecharger says:
    February 10, 2019 at 3:31 pm
    I watched the San Diego vs San Antonio game. They need to do a way better job of promoting the players. For instance, when a DB from Oklahoma makes a play, they should weave in some highlights of him playing at Oklahoma, and show a clip of him being announced during his NFL draft. They also need to bring in Mike Lombardi and pay him whatever it takes. He has a great resume and he can spin it like nobody else. He worked for Walsh, Belichick, and others. He’ll promote the heck out of the players, and he’s very convincing. After all, the whole idea is to give exposure to players who might have fallen through the cracks for some reason, but have the ability to play in the NFL.
    __________________________________________________

    How millennial. Don’t worry about the product. Just market it to death. Superficiality sells if you add enough distractions.

  11. Like posted above, 2.9 isn’t great when you’re taking up 3+ hours of CBS tv time. That 2.9 is probably being your max viewership which will go down after opening night, the newness wears off, and viewership settles in to it’s norm. Removing the kickoff/other possible game changing plays, lack of NFL quality level play, the defense playing at even more of a disadvantage because of stupid rules in the disguise of safety (we all know it’s money and availability), and other things that irritate fans of the NFL to the point they are getting bored with the NFL as a whole leaves this AAF d-league left for dead eventually.
    If this league wants to survive it needs to distance itself from affiliation to the NFL and do their own thing their own way with their own rules. This won’t happen because there are too many ex-NFL players, coaches, and NFL management people with their fingers in the pot or have skin in this AAF game. So, at the end of the day the AAF is doomed eventually because it’s ran by people who couldn’t make it in the present day NFL or they were once NFL caliber employees who choose not to deal with the NFL grind anymore or just can’t hang.
    I’m surprised that the NCAA hasn’t said anything about this. How does this affect them you ask? Everyone knows that there are schools out there that are not necessarily known for their quality of education, but are known for churning out future NFL players. Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson…ect. The AAF is giving young players an alternative to play which is great for young people, but it hits the NCAA in the wallet. There’s a fight in the future coming, you’ll see.
    I’ll wait for the XFL because it will be better because it will be it’s own entity. Who knows if it will be successful or not, but one business having a stranglehold hold on something is never good for customers or employees. Competition and options is always better for us fans and if you are a young player you know your life situation. You should be able to choose your life path, not have some billionaires telling you that you have to go to a college for x amount of years(make money for them/zero for you) to play for free just to get where you want to be career wise in the NFL. If you like the AAF, have fun with this boring pseudo nfl…change is coming.

  12. I still believe the NFL should start a throwback league with the original NFL cities getting initial rights to the the teams, say Chicago Maulers for example. It would be simply eight teams playing eight games, with the ninth game being the championship game. Eastern and Western divisions making up only four teams each.

    Its a 60 minute league with players playing offence and then switching to defence. Any substitutions based on injury, have to play the same way. Also, like Rugby, its a running league, similiar to Single wing football, but with NO FORWARD PASSING…The offences can run any style of running attack, whether Wishbone, I Formation, Vear, Single Wing…Tough Running, Tough Blocking, Tough 60 minute players. Punting is allowed but no extra pts or FGs…TDs or nothing.

    Since its only eight teams, with eight games, play could start during Week 12 of the NFL season, when alot of playoff teams are already established, and continue all the way till a week before the SB, where its championship game will be played. Since there is no college competition throughtout its season, this league can play its games on saturday, with the championship game played on sunday, the week before the NFLs Super Bowl

  13. All of the games should be free to watch and not being on a major network all the time is going to hurt them. why oh why do you have another game in Orlando at the same time and not have it earlier in the evening? I would have watched that game too. funny to watch singletary’s team get smoked. Atlanta game way too boring. San Diego quarterback gets drilled, some people love it. He was walking around the sidelines with an injured back. I don’t understand why someone would like that I don’t watch the game for that. would you want your son to get lit up?

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