The XFL was first established in 2001 and it was owned by WWE’s Vince McMahon and NBC’s Dick Ebersol. Despite the first XFL failing, their partnership as well as the league created a huge buzz and following which resulted to numerous XFL Players playing for the NFL and that is why Vince McMahon wanted to relaunch the XFL in 2020. Since XFL was a partnership between WWE and NBC, the live broadcast of the games as well as the big games were aired on the NBC TV Network, while the replays and other minor games were aired by both the TNN and UPN Networks. XFL also had local radio networks broadcasting games for a specific local team.
At the beginning of the first XFL season, NBC showed a feature game at 8 p.m. Eastern Time on Saturday nights and they also taped a second game. After a few weeks, the second game would air in the visiting team’s home market and be put on the air nationally if the feature game was a blowout (as was the case in week one) or encountered technical difficulties (as was the case in week two). Two games were shown each Sunday: one at 4 p.m. Eastern on TNN and another at 7 p.m. Eastern on UPN. The XFL also had a fairly extensive local radio presence, often using nationally recognized disc jockeys. The morning radio duo of Rick and Bubba, for instance, was the radio broadcast team for the Birmingham Thunderbolts. Super Dave Osborne was a sideline reporter for Los Angeles Xtreme broadcasts on KLSX; WMVP carried Chicago Enforcers games.
In the third week of the season, the games were sped up through changes in the playing rules, and broadcasts were subjected to increased time constraints. The reason was the reaction of Lorne Michaels, creator and executive producer of Saturday Night Live, to the length of the Los Angeles Xtreme versus Chicago Enforcers game that went into double overtime. The double overtime periods combined with a power outage earlier in the game due to someone not fueling a generator before the game delayed the contest, causing the start of Saturday Night Live to be pushed back from 11:30 p.m. Eastern Time to 12:15 a.m. Sunday morning. This angered Michaels, who expected high ratings with Jennifer Lopez as the show’s host. For the rest of the season, the XFL cut off coverage at 11:00 Eastern Time, regardless of whether or not the game was over.
Vince McMahon has not announced any partnership for the relaunching of the XFL in 2020 as he wants to be the sole owner of the new XFL, so it will be interesting to see where he will have the games aired. Based on what Vince McMahon said about the new XFL totally being apart and different from the first XFL, he will definitely not air it on the WWE Network. Vince McMahon can either have it aired on a TV Network yet to be determined or he could create an XFL Network like he did with the WWE Network. We will just have to wait and find out what McMahon’s plans are going forward.
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