XFL OPENING WEEKEND DELIVERS WORLD-CLASS PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL FOR FANS, DRIVING SIGNIFICANT REACH AND STRONG ENGAGEMENT THROUGH TRADITIONAL, DIGITAL, AND SOCIAL CHANNELS
160 points scored in total (average 40 points per game) with three of the four games decided by four points or less
Linear broadcast peaked at 2.3M on Sunday afternoon during San Antonio Brahmas vs St. Louis Battlehawks matchup on ABC
Powerful combination of XFL, League ownership, and Disney/ESPN social channels generated over 300 million impressions and 235+ million video views
Over 61,000 total fans in attendance at four weekend games
ARLINGTON, TX — February 22, 2023 — The XFL is pleased to share key fan engagement and gameplay figures from its successful opening weekend (February 18-19), driven by the quality and dynamic nature of its on-field football product, its rules and fan-focused game presentation innovations, and further elevated by the combined strength of XFL, League ownership, and ESPN social media channels. Notably, XFL league and team social media channels gained 4.1M video views in 48 hours, highlighting the importance of the League’s content-driven fan engagement strategy.
Rules innovations created a faster-paced game tailored for XFL fans, leading to an average game time of 2 hours and 49 minutes. Across the four games, there was a total of 160 points (average 40 points per game) with three of the four competitions being decided by four points or less. Game highlights include St. Louis’s 12-point comeback win against the San Antonio Brahmas with 1:30 left to play using the XFL 4th and 15 conversion rule, and the Arlington Renegades rallying from a 14-3 halftime deficit, scoring 19 straight points and blocking a 2-point conversion to come out with a win over the Vegas Vipers.
“We were thrilled to see the genuine enthusiasm and overall engagement from fans in-stadium, across digital channels, and tuning into broadcasts throughout the XFL’s opening weekend, despite it being a busy sports and holiday weekend. This strong demand reflects the legitimate desire for professional spring football, and the XFL will continue to deliver the dynamic on-field product that fans asked for,” said Russ Brandon, XFL President.
Added Brandon, “Equally evident from the breadth of viewership this weekend is the strength of our partnership with Disney and ESPN. Whether it’s the linear broadcast, live streaming capabilities, on-demand programming, or hosting our original docuseries, our partnership enabled us to reach a global audience and captivate the modern fan base. I am proud of our players and coaches for the work they’ve put in to deliver competitive gameplay for opening weekend. With each week, player development and competition will only improve and we’re excited for what’s still to come.”
“Our forward-thinking relationship with the XFL gives us the rights to share content in a multitude of ways across our expansive platform to better engage with all viewers where they are in the moment,” said Tim Reed, ESPN vice president, programming & acquisitions. “In addition to unmatched linear game distribution, we are also streaming every game live on ESPN+, providing fans in-progress highlights on ESPN social channels, streaming a weekly digital pre-game show and showcasing a behind-the-scenes docuseries across platform.”
XFL worked in collaboration with its ownership group and Disney/ESPN to drive social media coverage, together generating over 300M impressions and 235M+ video views. Throughout Week 1, XFL league and team social media channels alone had very strong fan engagement, generating 45M impressions, over 5M video views, and over 1.5M engagements, of which 31.3M impressions, 4.1M video views, 1.3M engagements were captured in just 48 hours during weekend games.
On Twitter, #XFL2023 was trending #1 nationally on Saturday, and AJ McCarron (STL QB), and #KaKaw (STL hashtag) were both trending in the top ten nationally on Sunday. Throughout the weekend, users discussed the quality and excitement of the fast-paced gameplay, and commended the accessibility of the XFL’s Command Center, where Dean Blandino, Vice President of Officiating and Rules Innovation, provided transparent and thoughtful explanations on rules and penalties.
On linear television, the audience peaked at 2.3M during the San Antonio Brahmas and St. Louis Battlehawks on Sunday afternoon. The average audience across the four games was 1.3M, not including ESPN+ live streaming.
Total attendance across the four home openers in Arlington (TX), Houston (TX), San Antonio (TX), and Washington D.C. was 61,514. San Antonio, a new market for the XFL, sold out of the lower bowl capacity in the Alamodome (24,245).
XFL Week 2 continues with three home openers (Seattle, Vegas, Orlando), starting on Thursday, February 23 with the St. Louis Battlehawks facing the Seattle Sea Dragons at Lumen Field at 9:00pm ET on FX. On Saturday, the D.C. Defenders will play the Vegas Vipers at Cashman Field at 7:00pm ET on FX. Sunday’s double header starts with the San Antonio Brahmas taking on the Orlando Guardians at World Camping Stadium at 4:00pm ET on ESPN, followed by the Arlington Renegades against the Houston Roughnecks at TDECU Stadium at 7:00pm ET on ESPN2. All games are streamed live on ESPN+.
Up-to-date league, team, and player information is now available on Twitter from the XFL communications department at @XFL_PR.
For more information, visit XFL.com and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
The XFL is a fan-first, fast-paced global professional football league with innovative rules and an enhanced 360-degree game experience. Anchored in world-class football, the XFL brings entertainment and innovation to advance the sport, expand player opportunities, and change the way that fans experience the game. The XFL has eight teams in Arlington (TX), Houston (TX), Las Vegas (NV), Orlando (FL), San Antonio (TX), Seattle (WA), St. Louis (MO), and Washington D.C.. The XFL is owned by Dany Garcia, Dwayne Johnson, and Gerry Cardinale’s RedBird Capital Partners and launched in February 2023.
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