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XFL 2023: Championship Game Scores League’s Highest TV Rating On ABC Since Opening Week

The TV ratings are in for the XFL 2023 Championship Game on ABC. The Saturday night telecast, which saw the Arlington Renegades upset the D.C. Defenders 35-26 to win the league’s title game, averaged 1.4 million viewers. The peak viewership was 1.8 million.

Saturday night’s viewership total was the XFL’s highest individual game rating since their opening weekend in February.

Before the XFL Championship game, The league averaged 1.088 million viewers per telecast on ABC during the regular season. The May 13th primetime showing was also the XFL’s first in that timeslot on over-the-air network television in 2023.

In front of over 22,000 paid fans at the Alamo Dome in San Antonio, the XFL championship game went head-to-head with MLB on FOX Saturday night. As well as the NHL playoffs on ESPN. The MLB scored 1.8 million viewers in primetime, and the NHL notched 2.042 million viewers on ESPN.

XFL Championship Game Viewership Analysis

The current XFL had many hurdles to overcome in 2023. Not only did they enter a new viewership landscape than its predecessor three years ago encountered. But they also had a much more modest overall presentation on television, with only a select handful of their 43 games on broadcast network television. (8 on ABC).

The key to what amounts to a season finale for XFL 2023 is attracting similar or peak viewership from the league’s relaunch on opening week. To ultimately show that the league retained interest throughout the season. Mission accomplished for XFL 3.0, based on the title game’s numbers.

The fear is an out-of-sight, out-of-mind factor for entities like the XFL that typically garner an early sampling audience but then fade into the background on the sports landscape. The XFL’s two-week delay between their playoffs and championship game could have worked against them. The league’s infrequent appearances on broadcast network TV could also have acted as a viewership deterrent.

However, considering all the different circumstances, the league and its broadcast partner should be pleased with the results.

The XFL 2023 Title game served as a victory for the entire league. Three years after, the second iteration was forcefully shut down by the COVID pandemic. And 22 years after, the original version of the league ruffled the sports world’s feathers. The XFL returned under new leadership and got to the finish line in grand style.

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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

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