Dylan Smith from Yellowhammer was a recent guest on The Markcast. He broke the news of the USFL talks with the city of Birmingham in Alabama. In his reporting, Smith went into detail about parts of the USFL’s proposal to Birmingham and some interesting dollars figures coming from those talks. Plus, how these talks have been going on since June.
Fox Sports wants to use the new Protective Stadium, which opened this month, as the main hub for the USFL 2022 season. This was a big factor in the decision for Fox to talk to Birmingham. They also have Legion Field that can serve as a practice field and place for additional games. Not only is Fox Sports onboard, but NBC is hinted at as another broadcast partner in these talks.
To show the city that Fox is for real in their interest in the USFL, Fox Sports flew in Gus Johnson and Reggie Bush as part of the meetings with local stakeholders. But if talks fall threw there are other places like Texas that could house the USFL Hub City.
“it’s going to happen somewhere. If for some reason this does not materialize, they’ll go somewhere like San Antonio or somewhere else. But I believe they set their sights, Fox Sports, on Birmingham.”
During the meetings, Fox presented the number of viewers they expect from the USFL, and these are similar to the XFL TV numbers. 1.4 million on regular TV and 700,000 on cable per game.
“Those are Fox estimates. And they do believe that those numbers are a reflection of the air time and the viewership that they would get… that’s pretty impressive. I think that it(USFL) will garner huge attention.”
The number 200 million invested by Fox is floating around during these talks but also potential private investors. Most likely private investors would be team owners, something the XFL has recently discussed.
“These are well to do investors, too, that we understand they’re speaking with. So from what we understand, these are private ventures.”
“I don’t think Fox would enter into something that they thought could potentially fail because they’re the most recognizable name out there. So it’s a prestigious brand, and I don’t think they would get behind something or propose something that they thought would potentially fail. So I think for that reason, they’re probably going to have a good amount of strong investment.”
8 teams and a 10-week season, similar to the XFL with 3 weeks for Playoffs and a Championship game are in the cards for the USFL. This was part of the plan presented to Birmingham. Also, Fox plans to be very aggressive in advertising this league, something they did not do with the TSL.
To listen to the full episode of The Markcast, check it out below.
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