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Exclusive: Week 3 XFL TV Ratings on ABC/ESPN


Week 3 of the XFL on ABC and ESPN averaged 1,704,000 viewers.


Saturday’s Houston Roughnecks vs. Tampa Bay Vipers game on ABC averaged 1,914,000 viewers, based on fast nationals. The telecast peaked between 4:45-5 p.m. ET with 2,571,000 viewers.

The top 5 local markets were Houston (3.5), Tampa-St. Pete (3.3), Tulsa (3.0), Cleveland (2.9) and Norfolk (2.7)


Sunday’s New York Guardians vs St. Louis BattleHawks game on ESPN averaged 1,473,000 viewers.

The telecast peaked between 4:45–5 p.m. with 1,640,000 viewers. The top 5 local markets were St. Louis (8.0), Kansas City (2.0), Cincinnati (1.8), Columbus, Ohio (1.5) and Cleveland (1.4).

Week 2 to Week 3 XFL TV Ratings comparison Saturday on ABC.

Week 2: Defenders-Guardians averaged 2,127,000 viewers, peaked with 2,389,000 viewers

Week 3: Roughnecks-Vipers game on averaged 1,914,000 viewers, peaked with 2,571,000 viewers

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I am a pro football writer who has extensively covered and reported on multiple leagues over the years. I started covering the XFL back in 2001. You can follow me on Twitter @byMikeMitchell



  1. Tony

    February 24, 2020 at 7:37 pm

    Not horrible ratings but the continuous decline isn’t good for a league that is just starting out and doesn’t seem to be impressing many people with it’s on field play. It’s not going to get any better either with March Madness starting soon. If the ratings don’t stabilize during weeks four and five even if there does end up being a season 2 I think they may choose not to air the games on the major networks.

    • King Kong McMahon

      February 24, 2020 at 10:51 pm

      Not horrible ratings? Sounds like more excuses to me!

    • Lop

      February 25, 2020 at 9:04 am

      I think this is as far as it’ll decline

      • Tony

        February 25, 2020 at 10:07 am

        Oh no with March Madness starting it is going to get worse than this. Weeks 4 and 5 are going to be crucial for this league. If it can’t show that it can maintain an audience in the next two weeks prior to the NCAA tournaments starting it very well may end up being another one and done league.

  2. Rob

    February 25, 2020 at 9:38 am

    As a BattleHawks fan I’m a little pissed they haven’t had a single game on any of the free networks yet. Always espn fs1 I’m interested to see st.louis ratings once they are on abc or fox. I disagree with the guy above I can’t speak for the league as a whole but the battlehawk dome was sold out I heard they might open the upper bowl if it’s sold out again. I walked into a restaurant with by buddy and as we sit down at the bar (30 miles outside the city) people around the bar are all talking about the BattleHawks and how exciting it is to have football again in st.louis. The show they put in this week against the guardians was fun exciting and very watch able. I love the new rules.

    • Tony

      February 25, 2020 at 10:11 am

      A couple of the teams have been drawing well at the gate however we are talking about tv ratings and not attendance levels. TV ratings have dropped about 50% since Week 1. The tv ratings are what is going to keep this league alive or doom it as another failure.

      The networks aren’t going to want to televise this league if it starts struggling to only get a million viewers a game.

  3. Gregory Callaway

    February 25, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    The XFL should ask Colin Kaepernick to play for them gratis for two years just to ascertain what it does to the Trump racists NFL!

  4. gary

    February 25, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    games on cable will kill the league

  5. Tim Vance

    February 25, 2020 at 6:10 pm

    I have watched as much as I can watch and DVR what I can’t watch because of work. I like the XFL. The players are playing because they love football and to win. Anyone watch Rogers just look at the football and not try to recover the fumble in the packers playoff game. St.louis looks pretty good and the fans are great. Houston and Dallas look pretty good and Los Angeles looked alot better this week. I bet the Steelers would have liked to have had Landry Jones this year

  6. Tim Vance

    February 25, 2020 at 6:25 pm

    I like the games been watching every game. These guys play hard and love football and want to win. St.louis, Houston, and Dallas are pretty good and LA looked better. I have seen some ball hawking defenses and guys playing hard and trying to WIN, unlike green bay’s quarterback staring at a fumble and Duck Hodges playing quarterback

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