Ratings decline for three of four XFL games

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The bad news for the XFL is that its TV viewership is continuing to decline. The good news is the decline last week wasn’t as steep as the decline the previous week.

The XFL’s early Saturday game on ABC dropped from 1.9 million viewers in Week Three to 1.6 million viewers in Week Four. The late Saturday game on FOX dropped from 2.1 million viewers in Week Three to 1.8 million viewers in Week Four. The Sunday game on ESPN drew 1.5 million viewers in Week Three, while the Week Four Sunday game on ESPN2 drew 1.0 million viewers.

The lone bright spot was FS1, which drew 1.0 million viewers in Week Three but increased to 1.1 million viewers in Week Four.

The news wasn’t all bad for the XFL. It’s noteworthy that more people watched the XFL game on ABC on Saturday than watched the coverage of the NFL Scouting Combine that aired on ABC immediately following the XFL.

The big question facing the XFL is how much further these numbers might fall. If the XFL settles into the range of around 1 million to 2 million viewers per game and stabilizes over the course of the season, the league would seem to be viable. If ratings continue to drop as the season progresses, that would spell trouble for the upstart league.

24 responses to “Ratings decline for three of four XFL games

  1. The XFL is just as good as the NFL and they will make it! Stop trying to take them down! Ratings don’t matter.

  2. Sill better than the NBA, not bad for a league in it’s first year. I don’t have time to watch every game, but I caught a few and they were pretty good.

  3. I wanted to watch and have the games on but I had family here all weekend. NFL Sundays are established in our home, but not yet the XFL. I’ll watch every chance I get. Please survive XFL!

  4. Who ever made this schedule should be fired. Why start a league now and end it when other sports take over weekend? The ratings will continue to drop and they will lose the fan base almost entirely but the end of the year.

    One couldn’t have made a worse schedule if they had tried. Week 6 is conference tournements and selection Sunday for NCAAB. Week 7 and 8 are all March Madness, good luck getting sports fans that weekend to tune in. Week 9 is opening weekend of baseball. Week 10 is the Masters and your playoffs start the same time as the NBA and NHL will be playing theirs. So down the stretch when people are suppose to be excited about your league they will be watching something else.

  5. For me it comes down to this. After winter time I like to spend my weekends enjoying the outdoors for a while and I guess I am a person of habit because my interest is now with the NBA which I love, March Madness, and the always awesome NHL. I love the NFL (not a big college football fan) so my focus is on football in the fall and early winter but now it has shifted for a while.

  6. “Who ever made this schedule should be fired. Why start a league now and end it when other sports take over weekend?”
    _________________

    But when WOULD they find open weekends not dominated by other sports? There aren’t many openings when they wouldn’t be going head-to-head with something else. That is the whole problem of launching a new league and expecting great TV ratings immediately. No new league will be able to do that. They need to establish a fan base by becoming known as a great in-stadium experience. With time, they become more popular and then TV ratings take off from people who can’t go to the game but still are interested enough to seek them out on TV. But just hoping people tune from Day 1 when there are tons of other viewing options is not realistic.

  7. A total of 5 college football games eclipsed 1mil viewers on FS1 in 2019. All 3 XFL games on FS1 have done that.

  8. the winners are CBS and NBC . they said thanks but no thanks .. also not buying the so call #s . best guess its 50% of what they claim are watching.

  9. Its beyond me why the XFL isnt on DAZN or another streaming service. I dont have these networks and have to watch games through streams that dont acount for anything business wise for the XFL.

  10. The fact that ESPN2 got over 1 million ( 1030k ) viewers at 7pm against NBA game on ESPN whey the XFL game was lopsided blowout is telling.

    Also XFL destroyed MLS this weekend – Sunday both 3pm and 530pm MLS on ESPN games 463k, and 311k. VS XFL 1113k and 1030k on the lesser nets of FS1 and ESPN2. And they are doing REALLY well in the 18-49yo demo.

    If MLS has a $80-90million tv deal, its looking good for XFL.

  11. It’s noteworthy that more people watched the XFL game on ABC on Saturday than watched the coverage of the NFL Scouting Combine that aired on ABC immediately following the XFL.
    ——————-
    You mean more people want to watch an actual football game as opposed to men running football drills? GASP!

  12. I tuned in for about two minutes of one game. Too much going on for me. I don’t want to hear the coaches calling plays. I enjoy the traditional TV broadcasts that the NFL has.

  13. @mogogo1, This isn’t a league starting with a new sport but a sport that is considered to be the obsession of the nation. The XFL’s business model has never been to start small and build on small success. They started a national league that plays in huge stadiums and is televised nationally. Not a regional league playing in small stadiums trying to keep their cost down.

    You ask when I would start this league? In April or May and end in the middle of July. All you have to compete against at the end of your season would be baseball and with the NFL starting its camps people will start to catch football fever. To expect fans to come watch a 2nd rate league right after the Super Bowl with all the other major sports having their playoffs or opening weekend is inviting disaster.

  14. “the winners are CBS and NBC . they said thanks but no thanks .. also not buying the so call #s . best guess its 50% of what they claim are watching.”

    These #’s come straight for Nielsen. I’m sure NBC loves watching the NHL have lower viewership than XFL on FS1. NHL was also outperformed by XFL on ESPN2 in the 18-49 demo by over 100k viewers.

  15. “It’s noteworthy that more people watched the XFL game on ABC on Saturday than watched the coverage of the NFL Scouting Combine that aired on ABC immediately following the XFL.”
    ——————————

    TALK ABOUT MISLEADING.

    The Saturday XFL broadcast on ABC ended after 5:30pm. Anybody caring about the scouting combine WOULDN’T BE WATCHING THE ABC VERSION ANYWAYS. Instead they were tuned in to channels (ie NFL Network) that showed the combine FROM THE BEGINNING that started at 3pm.

  16. This actually pretty good news for the XFL honestly. This week I read more than one article including one on this site, that was forecasting a major ratings drop due to the competition from the Combine and MLS moving a game to ESPN2. The fact the XFL outperformed both by a good margin speaks volumes. The league is going to have instability in it’s attendance and TV numbers with it being a new league, but so far it’s performed very well compared to the AAF and it’s actually getting better viewing numbers than the NBA and NHL and completely demolished the MLS game it went against. For all the gloom and doom it faces from sites like this, it is actually in position to thrive if given enough time to develop.

  17. donttrollonme says:
    March 3, 2020 at 10:54 am
    The XFL is just as good as the NFL and they will make it!
    ——————

    I take it you’ve never actually seen a game?

  18. Haven’t watched a full XFL game and maybe have watched the XFL for 4 minutes total.

    Badgers and Bucks basketball is the main sports focus of late. My career and life are also going amazingly well so I don’t have any free time to waste on a league that doesn’t have one team I care about.

  19. Looks like those identities that are actually compensated in one fashion or another by the XFL are still at work trying desperately to improve the “social media view” of another lame excuse for football… Throw in the bots that do all the “up-voting” to positively enhance the XFL & you basically have what the Russians did in the election 2016.

  20. Remember when MLS was supposed to crush the XFL this weekend. Meanwhile a primetime MLS game with a brand new team against its most popular team lost over half its lead in XFL audience. For what the networks are paying they are receiving a nice return on investment. The XFL nearly doubled the PGA in the all important 18-49 demographic, even with nearly 1 million less viewers. The games I’ve attended so far are very millennial heavy which advertisers love to see.

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