USFL playoff ratings fall short of one million per game

USFL: JUN 25 Playoff Semifinal - Philadelphia Stars at New Jersey Generals
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As ratings go, the USFL is the quintessential spring football league. It came in like a lion, and it’s going out like a lamb.

The two playoff games, televised on three-letter broadcast TV, generated an average of 957,000 viewers for the afternoon game on Fox and 998,000 viewers for the evening game on NBC.

The first game of the season, played on a Saturday night in April, generated a combined 3.07 million on Fox and NBC.

Although the two semifinals games were played in late June, the failure to crack seven figures fairly can be called a disappointment. And while the games surely performed well in comparison to other sports properties televised over the past weekend, the USFL games received placement on major networks.

The true value in the USFL comes from the difference between the ratings on FOX and/or NBC with spring football and the ratings from whatever was televised in the same window on the same weekend a year ago. Although people don’t consume traditional over-the-air networks like they once did, major networks can count on a basic number of viewers — no matter what they televise.

The USFL has done well enough to return for another season. How many more seasons will it get? That’s a decision that likely will be made one season at a time.

Meanwhile, it would be helpful if the USFL could get at least a million to watch Sunday night’s championship game on Fox.

10 responses to “USFL playoff ratings fall short of one million per game

  1. I’ll probably watch some of it. It’s football, gives these guys a chance. The play is mostly competitive but don’t know if it’s sustainable.

  2. I think the USFL would work if they tied it to the NFL where each team would be a junior of an NFL team. For example Dallas Stars for Cowboys and they have the first right to sign a player. Then you draw Cowboy fans in hoping a few players shine.

  3. And yet, here comes a 3rd football next spring with the XFL, backed by ESPN. It’s all up to the networks and what they consider an acceptable rating and sponsor support. I would still watch it over baseball or soccer. To each, their own.

  4. Basically a million a game in in summer during perfect weather most of the country especially Philly & NJ/NY? And the games performed well against the competition as you stated.
    Putting NJ/Philly on during the day vs primetime was a mistake but they did well during day. Highest rated Fox game since week 4. NBC got 1mm viewers will two very small market teams playing.

    The games were entertaining 3 returns for scores, the players were all in playing hard.

    Philly vs Birmingham championship going up against SN baseball with Phillies will be tough too but the game should be good.

  5. I am hoping the league is here to stay….but the idea of all games being in one place is hurting them for sure. Nobody I know that follows sports ever even mentions the games….and it is really hard to compete with NBA playoffs, NHL playoffs, big golf events on weekends etc – – – A very steep hill to climb!

  6. Excitement is brewing here in Philadelphia for the Stars! Come on America, tune in to the USFL championship Sunday July 3rd. You don’t want to miss it!!!

  7. In 2023, please let the teams play in their home cities. That would generate better crowds. Mostly empty stadiums make the games look like a scrimmage.

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