The Spring League 2021 season has ended, and the TV ratings are in for their ‘Mega Bowl’ championship game, in what could be TSL’s final broadcast on the FOX Network before the USFL makes its way back and takes its place in 2022.
This past Saturday, before a gathering of fans in attendance at Rice Stadium in Houston. Led by Hal Mumme and Spring League MVP Quarterback Ryan Willis. The Linemen rallied to defeat the Jousters 26-23 in the closing minute to win the 2021 Spring League Championship.
The Spring League: Mega Bowl TV Rating On FOX Network 6/19
The Spring League finished off their season with 418,000 viewers on FOX as the Linemen edged the Jousters 26-23 to win the Mega Bowl. The viewership total is down from last week’s regular-season finale (461k), but the Spring League averaged over 408,000 viewers per telecast on FOX for the entire season. So the championship game total was up five percent from the season average.
The Spring League On FOX Weekly TV Ratings
- Week 1: 380,000 viewers, Generals-Jousters 5/8
- Week 2: 448,000 viewers, Alphas-Conquerors 5/15
- Week 3: 408,000 viewers, Generals-Blues 5/22
- Week 4: 365,000 viewers, Blues-Sea Lions 5/29
- Week 5: 380,000 viewers, Generals-Sea Lions 6/5
- Week 6: 461,000 viewers, Jousters-Sea Lions 6/12
- Week 7: 418,000 viewers, Linemen-Jousters 6/19
- On FOX and FS1, Spring League telecasts averaged 181,000 viewers in 2021, up +503% over last year’s full season average of 30,000 viewers on FS1.
- On FOX, Spring League telecasts averaged 409,000 viewers for the 2021 season.
- On FS1, Spring League telecasts averaged 81,000 viewers for the 2021 season, up 170% over last year’s full season average of 30,000 viewers on FS1.
The Spring League Overall TV Ratings Analysis
The viewership numbers that the Spring League achieved in seven weeks on FOX, FS1, and FS2 were vastly improved from last fall. In 2020, TSL averaged only 30,000 viewers on FOX’s cable networks. By default, the overall ratings of the Spring League were going to go up because of their added exposure and visibility on The FOX Network.
But even TSL’s cable numbers saw a decent spike. The cable figures for TSL on FS1/FS2 this spring averaged roughly 81,000 viewers per telecast. On two separate occasions, games went over six figures in viewership. Week 1 with a Friday night game between the Blues and Sea Lions on FS1, averaging 114,000 viewers. In week 2, a Monday Night game on FS1 between the Sea Lions and Generals garnered 106,000 viewers.
So what’s the overall verdict for FOX and TSL?
Well, with very little promotion and fanfare, the entity produced modest numbers. Consider The Spring League in 2021 on FOX as a sports TV experiment. A litmus test in seeing how well a barebones football league operating on a shoestring budget can do on Network television. The truth is that the results weren’t half bad, and the product on the field was respectable.
But, like the TV ratings, everything was earned by default. It extends as well to the product presented on the field. Spring League’s quality of play was limited in some respects due to time constraints for the teams and because, quite frankly, many pro players passed on being a part of TSL because of a lack of compensation.
The low-cost/low-risk television property did well enough for FOX and The Spring League to move forward and up the ante with the United States Football League as its highlighted and main property. With FOX as a business and TV partner and TSL CEO Brian Woods and his team of investors, the question is will they increase their marketing plans in the coming months to produce better viewership numbers? One could argue that they will have to if they plan to survive in the long run.
The USFL’s Potential Ratings On FOX In 2022
The USFL brand has equity, and some goodwill built up and if it’s presented and promoted properly. The league could generate more interest than it did with The Spring League. Simply having teams in cities and individual markets will aid the league’s overall reach and viewership numbers.
TSL was a league in name only, but with the transition to the USFL, there is a great potential for a spring football league to try and capitalize on what the AAF and XFL accomplished in gaining a respectable following.
The name value and nostalgia aspect of the United States Football League will help get some attention but operating as a genuine pro football league that pays its players will enhance the product on the field. And ultimately help give this sports property credibility moving forward.
The Spring League did well enough by default in 2021 to open the door for the USFL in 2022 on FOX.
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