XFL faces new TV challenges this weekend

Getty Images

For the first three weeks of the XFL’s first (technically second) season, the ratings have consistently dropped. For the fourth week, the XFL will be facing the most competition yet for eyeballs.

Both days of XFL games will compete with the Scouting Combine, with Saturday’s workouts from 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. ET and Sunday’s session from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET. Will people choose to watch football played by non-NFL players, or will they choose to watch non-football played by future NFL players?

We’re about to find out.

Then there’s the impact of the return of the MLS on the XFL. As noted by Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal, Sunday’s ABC/ESPN game will be televised on ESPN2 because ESPN has an opening-day MLS doubleheader. Apart from whether and to what extent fans will choose to watch soccer over football, the shift of the XFL game from ESPN to ESPN2, which has been planned all along, necessarily will result in a smaller audience.

And it’s just the beginning. Free agency is coming. NCAA conference basketball tournaments are coming. March Madness is coming. Baseball is coming. With XFL ratings already going down without these specific alternatives for TV viewing, the XFL could be facing an uphill climb.

24 responses to “XFL faces new TV challenges this weekend

  1. Y’all really are making a big deal out of nothing. If the options are between an actual football game and a glorified workout what do you really think fans are likely to tune into?

  2. one would assume (hope) that the XFL and the networks factored these “issues” into their financial model when deciding to launch this league and have their games played during this time of year…it’s not like the dates of the NFL combine, March Madness, the MLS should be surprises. basically, it should be expected that ratings drop a bit but that should have been modeled into theirs and the networks (whom effectively underright the league) business plans

  3. The XFL needs a team of mis-fits to draw viewers. The first 3 players awarded should be QB Manziel, WR AB84, RB Ray Rice. You just have to look at that train wreck!

  4. Don’t care if it is on (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN-Ocho) or (Fox, FoxSports, FoxSports22). It streams the same from the ESPN/FoxSports site.

  5. I’ll be watching college hoops. After the Final 4 maybe I’ll watch some minor league football.

  6. chaunce922 says:
    February 28, 2020 at 5:18 pm
    Imagine being so desperate to paint the XFL in a poor light you dare to assume that people would rather watch soccer than it.
    Preach it brother.

    I’ll bet the MLS is way more scare if XFL blows it of the water on a lesser channel ESPN2 v ESPN

  7. I think watching the NFL combine only flies with a very select audience. I would expect any sort of normal event/programming to surpass it in viewers. If the XFL loses to something like the NFL combine, they have a problem. I have enjoyed the XFL games so far so I don’t expect that to happen even though it is weird not really having a team I’m pulling for. Guess we’ll see though…

  8. If the XFL can’t beat the MLS in rating, then they don’t belong on TV. MLS is total trash.

  9. I would rather watch old videos of Evel Knievel .jumping things than watch soccer or the combine.

  10. Sounds like you are rooting against the XFL with this article and the others you’ve been running. Scared of competition?

  11. I am a college football and NFL addict. I do not watch the combine. I do not watch the NFL draft. I dont watch basketball and I sure as heck do not watch soccer…I love watching the XFL…

  12. Somehow I thought the XFL season had already ended.. Actually it can’t end soon enough.. It’s an embarrassment…. Hell, even Vince’s wrasling is more appealing.

  13. Somehow I thought the XFL season had already ended.. Actually it can’t end soon enough.. It’s an embarrassment…. Hell, even Vince’s wrasling is more appealing.
    As you’ve made abundantly clear in every article PFT posts about the xfl. We get it, now go do something more positive with your time.

  14. Watching the combine is way over rated and the hype comes only from the NFL and the talk shows. Be honest more will watch XFL game that had no idea the combine is even going on

  15. Somehow I don’t think Vince was worried about soccer siphoning away viewers when he re-launched the XFL.

  16. It is crazy to think this would work at the time they started it. Can’t run a national league in huge stadiums starting in February. You grow into playing in stadiums, you don’t start there and expect to fill them. This isn’t minor league football, its a 2nd professional league. How many of those succeed in USA?

  17. The XFL should have front loaded NY and DC’s schedule with mostly road games to limit home games being played in very cold weather. NY has a sparse crowd vs the Wildcats because it is so cold. The start times for tomorrow’s games are better, and overall the league looks solid. Keep tuning in football fans. The battle of Texas should be a great game, Houston vs Dallas.

  18. The big bad MLS, with its most popular team and an expansion team in Nashville drew a whopping 800k viewers on Prime time in Fox. This is a league that receives $90 million in rights fees a year, while the XFL more than doubles its ratings in the middle of the day on Saturday

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.