XFL plans two games a week on network TV, two more on major cable

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The XFL wants to make this clear: We’re not the AAF.

After the Alliance of American Football went bankrupt, the XFL, which will launch next year, is explaining that it has a far more viable business plan in place than the AAF ever had. XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck said the XFL has deals with “two very powerful media companies” and the XFL will have two games a week on over-the-air network television and two games on major cable channels.

If Luck can deliver on that promise — there has been no announcement about which channels the XFL will be on — that’s significantly better coverage than the AAF had. Although the AAF’s inaugural game drew solid ratings on CBS, it then moved to NFL Network, CBS Sports Network, TNT and the streaming BR Live service. Moving around on all those channels made games hard to find.

Luck tried today to make clear that the XFL isn’t AAF 2.0.

“We believe we’re well on our way to a successful launch in February of 2020. We’ve got a great business plan,” Luck said.

The XFL will have eight teams, with four games a week. If all four of those games are on channels that most Americans have, that will be an important first step toward drawing more fans than the AAF did.

20 responses to “XFL plans two games a week on network TV, two more on major cable

  1. If McMahon were in his 40s/50s with this wealth then I would say the XFL could give NFL Competition as a Major Football League but at 73 I doubt it lasts past 2025. Give em Hell though. I admire someone trying to compete and not just throw their hands up and be critical about someone have aspirations with a solid plan. Mistake 1 for Little Ebersol was not actually learning from his old man about XFL 1.0’s failure and Mistake 2 was sucking up to the NFL. Don’t suck up. Do your own thing and grow to eventually compete.

  2. This will be failure like the other leagues that tried. They are making the same mistakes. It cost money to put your league on TV like this when you don’t have a established product. It cost money to fly you teams for NY to Tampa and to the west coast. It cost money to put them in big stadiums. There is no market for a second rate league. You can have all the cash you want but if you aren’t making money investors will pull the plug.

  3. Smart money has Fox airing some games. They signed a HUE contract with WWE in 2018, I wouldn’t be surprised if the XFL followed suit.

  4. And they will stay on those channels as long as they get ratings. TV networks don’t keep any show that doesn’t bring in ratings.

  5. I did not watch 1 second of AAF or highlights when they went off network TV after week 1.

    Good for the XFL to at least give people an option to watch the games.

  6. I have no idea if the XFL will work this time around but it is setup for success a lot more than the AAF was. First and foremost, the guy running the league is also the guy providing the funding unlike the AAF who were reliant on outside sources that didn’t follow through. Secondly, getting games on established viewing sources is very important as the AAF actually had some decent ratings when people could actually find the games. With any new venture there has to be a plan in place for dealing with the worst case scenario and money to sustain the lean times that will always be there in the first year or two until you develop an identity and a core audience. The XFL has the money and apparently the relationships in the broadcasting industry to make it work as long as they are realistic with their expectations. The AAF was touting their tech and gambling apps more than the product on the field and were hoping for more buy in once people saw the product. It was a losing business model from the start and the XFL is ahead in that aspect right out of the gate. I hope it lasts because I love football and think there is enough of an interest in spring football as long as they can show it will last for an extended amount of time.

  7. The AAF was watchable for me. I won’t waste a second watching the XFL.
    —-
    Well at least you’re keeping an open mind …

  8. If McMahon can get the powers to be to allow steroids in his new league, much like he allows them to be prevalent in WWE, he might stand a chance to succeed. Otherwise, it is, at best, 2nd rate football.

  9. I will give it a shot and attempt to watch it. I said the same about the AAF though and barely saw more than a 20 minutes. Maybe its just me but after watching every game of my favorite NFL team and having the excitement and emotion end after the season and especially the playoffs, then following the rest of the playoffs and whoever is in the Super Bowl, I’m kind of ready for a break after that.

  10. Ebersol ‘thought’ he had a good business plan. How did that turn out? Has he got all his money hidden in offshore accounts so he can file bankruptcy now?

  11. AAF was to air a game on TNT the week it went belly-up. Oliver Luck used to run Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo. Was he still there when they moved to a downtown stadium?

  12. AAF played 2 1st week games on broadcast TV then ZIP.. Executives are so out of touch they don’t realize how many people cut the cable on service that costs 4x more than it is worth! I couldn’t have cared less.

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