The XFL had very strong ratings in Week One of the return from its 19-year hiatus. The Week Two ratios were strong to quite strong.
According to Jake Russell of the Washington Post, the Week Two ABC games drew an average audience of 2.127 million on Saturday (New York Guardians at D.C. Defenders) and an average audience of 2.397 million on Sunday (Dallas Renegades at L.A. Wildcats).
Last Saturday’s XFL debut on ABC, featuring the Seattle Dragons at the Defenders, generated 3.3 million average viewers. The reduction from one Saturday to the next at the same starting time (2:00 p.m. ET) amounts to 1.173 million. That equates to a slippage of 35.5 percent.
On Sunday of Week One, the ABC/ESPN game was televised by ESPN, and it drew 2.5 million viewers. The Week Two Sunday game experienced less of a dip, by 103,000 viewers and 4.12 percent. However, broadcast TV usually generates a much higher audience than cable; thus, it’s fair to assume the audience would have been smaller if the Week Two Sunday game had been televised by ESPN — and that the audience would have been larger if the Week One Sunday game had been televised by ABC.