By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
The XFL announced multi-year television deals on Monday with Fox, ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 and FS2. SportsBusinessDaily.com reports that 24 of the 43 games of the league’s first season will air on broadcast television, including 13 on ABC and 11 on Fox. ESPN and Fox hold the streaming rights. The networks are not paying a rights fee for the XFL games. Rather, ESPN and Fox will pay for the production costs and sell ads around the game, while the XFL will handle sponsorships at the venue.
“The only game that the Alliance had on broadcast was their opening game on CBS,” XFL Commissioner and CEO Oliver Luck said. “One of the lessons we took away was that they had a pretty good rating. It shows that Americans still want to watch football the week after the Super Bowl.” Read more at SportsBusinessDaily.com.
Powell’s POV: Or it shows that a lot of viewers were willing to check out the AAF launch and did not care enough to seek out future games. Keep in mind that the original XFL drew a huge rating for its first game and it was all downhill from there. The lack of a programming fee tells me that the networks want the programming and are willing to pay for production, but they are not sold enough on the concept to actually pay money on top of that. I continue to believe that the NFL owners would launch their own secondary league if they believed there was real money to be made in minor league football. And on the off chance that the XFL is successful, there’s nothing stopping the NFL from launching a rival league.
Check below for the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Court Bauer discussing MLW’s future, pay-per-view possibilities, whether MLW talent could appear on the AAA event at MSG, Salina de la Renta serving as the executive producer for the latest MLW Fusion television show, and more.