Bad news, good news for USFL in Week Two

USFL Week Two - New Orleans Breakers at Tampa Bay Bandits
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The USFL expected a dip in TV ratings for Week Two. Dip happened. What it means depends on the lens through which the numbers are viewed.

As reported by the Sports TV Ratings Twitter account, the Saturday Maulers-Stars game on Fox drew an average audience of 1.056 million. Sunday afternoon’s Breakers-Bandits blowout on NBC generated 812,000.

In Week One, the Fox and NBC games attracted audiences of 3 million and 2.153 million, respectively.

Those aren’t great numbers for three-letter broadcast TV. That said, and as noted by Sports TV Ratings, NBC’s audience for spring football was larger than its Premier League number or, more importantly for the network that previously televised pro hockey, the USFL on both NBC and Fox outdrew the NHL on ABC.

That said, a Sunday morning F1 event on ESPN picked up a million viewers. In the 18-49 demographic, the audience doubled the Fox and NBC figures for the USFL.

12 responses to “Bad news, good news for USFL in Week Two

  1. The quality of games is slightly better than expected. But having less than a 1000 fans watching in the stadium is brutal for TV. I understand why they are doing the “bubble” this year, but I doubt people in Pittsburgh and New Jersey really think of the Panthers and the Generals as “their” team when they only play in Birmingham.

  2. USFL is a made-for-television league; it’s not a real competition, and it’s being done on the cheap, otherwise the league would pay people to fill the stands. Using one city as the lone stadium where all the teams play might save money, but it is hard to support a “home team” unless you support the team named Birmingham.

  3. The question is will these viewers come back? If they do then the league has a shot to build something. You can’t expect miracles in week 1 or 2.

  4. I had eyeballs on a few games for a while. It was pretty entertaining Football. My problem is that I don’t feel like I have a dog in the fight with no local team to cheer for.

  5. The University of Alabama spring game will probably draw more fans than all the games played in the USFL.

  6. cletuspstillwaterjr says:
    April 26, 2022 at 1:36 pm
    I had eyeballs on a few games for a while. It was pretty entertaining Football. My problem is that I don’t feel like I have a dog in the fight with no local team to cheer for.
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    I’m kind of the opposite. Having no team to root for means I can enjoy the play of both teams. I can get excited about a great throw/catch down the sideline, and then the next play get excited about the defense getting a big sack. Its fun to watch your team play football, but its just as fun to watch football when its just about the football and not about your allegiance to one side. I dont have a college football team, I just like college football. Its the same thing with this. Maybe I am in the minority on that?

  7. I don’t like football well enough to waste time on third rate athletes who are being paid. I’ll watch some college football when I can root against Alabama and Ohio State.

  8. I’ve watched a few games and I think the level of play is decent enough to be entertaining.

    I think they should’ve removed the city designations from the teams, so they could have The Generals vs. The Panthers, or whatever. And the empty stadium is a bummer, but I hope they do well enough to survive. I think one of the keys to fans tuning in is them believing it won’t be shut down before the season ends.

  9. I watched some last weekend and there was some good football. The USFL needs to do more focusing on the players to get viewers involved. I’m mystified why they’re having so much trouble getting people to go to the games. If I were in Birmingham, I’d be happy to go to the games. Maybe they’re not doing enough local promotion. I remember when the AAF came along, I asked a San Antonio friend if they were thinking about going to see any games. He didn’t even know about it, that’s how little they were doing with local promotion.

  10. If Birmingham could put more people in the seats, maybe it could get to the point where the NFL would consider putting a team there.

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