Report: FOX Sports has interest in broadcasting a revived XFL

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If the XFL manages to live on under new ownership from The Rock and others, they may have a network already willing to partner to broadcast games.

According to Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports, FOX Sports is interested in a possible television rights deal with the league should its new owners manage to resuscitate the formerly bankrupt venture.

The XFL had to halt its season back in March alongside all other major sports due to the prevalence of the COVID-19 pandemic. The league eventually closed its doors and filed for bankruptcy before it was purchased by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Dany Garcia and RedBird Capital last week.

“Is Fox interested? Sure they’re always interested in (football),” said Patrick Crakes, an ex-Fox Sports executive turned media consultant. “But it won’t be the same kind of deal the Vince McMahon-backed XFL got.”

What that could look like is uncertain like most things are right now. With the landscape of sports businesses having changed drastically amid the pandemic, the scope of what a rights deal would look like now could be significantly different from what existed just a year ago.

But if the XFL is able to pull itself off the mat once again, they’ll seemingly have at least one network willing to try to figure it out.

4 responses to “Report: FOX Sports has interest in broadcasting a revived XFL

  1. Big Ten and Pac-12 football are what Fox Sports usually shows on fall Saturdays, yes?

  2. The 2021 NFL draft is going to be a lottery, with a lot of good college players ending up without a team. If the XFL can turn themselves into a platform to showcase this ignored young talent, they might have a real good wholesome product that appeals to many viewers, including families. Everyone wins!

  3. The players impacted by the postponement of the college season cannot currently go into the transfer portal; it really doesn’t matter since there are few scholarships available at schools that will play. That means the XFL has the perfect opportunity employ and pay players with two years of school, denuding College Football of many of its best players as well as instantly establishing credibility with the public. Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields would make a ton of money in endorsements alone! The XFL could have eight teams employing 400 players and 200 coaches / support staff; train and play in a bubble (I bet IMF would make it work) allowing NFL scouts to see the college prospects and give FOX Sports “must see” programing for Tuesday and Wednesday nights. If you require two years of college or out of high school (or perhaps one if you want to follow the NBA model), you have a new crop of players each year. The NFL has its farm league and the players get paid for risking their bodies. With electronic education, the players could also remain enrolled in classes. The Rock has an incredible opportunity. I bet the first city to sponsor an XFL team is St Louis closely followed by San Antonio.

  4. Fox or no Fox, the only way it works is if The Rock can put together a group of 8 to 10 franchise owners who are committed to stick with the league for a minimum of 3 years, no matter how much money they are losing. That could be as much as $15 million/yr per team.

    Every time these new leagues start up, the promoter–like McMahon–claims to be willing to pour hundreds of millions into the league. Then when the losses start piling up, they bail out. They need people with a lot of patience and the ability to ride out the money losing first few years.

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