One nugget dropped during the announcement of new head coach/GM of the XFL St. Louis franchise was by XFL Commissioner and CEO Oliver Luck. The XFL TV deal seems already in place and close to being announced.
Luck said the XFL has a TV deal with “two very powerful media companies.” Two games a week will be on network over-the-air television and two games on a major cable channel. He even mentioned those broadcast partners were at The Spring League games doing testing. He stated the partners were pleased with the XFL rule changes and getting used to the fast pace play.
This TV coverage is significantly better than what the AAF had. The AAF’s first game drew solid ratings on CBS. Then games were all over the place from NFL Network to TNT, CBS Sports Network or the BR Live streaming service, which made games hard to find. The XFL’s approach is very different, plus there are reports that the American Football Alliance was paying for their own air time. Something the XFL will not be doing.
Luck made it very clear that the XFL is nothing like the failed AAF. “We believe we’re well on our way to a successful launch in February of 2020. We’ve got a great business plan.”
TV Upfronts, which are when TV channels pitch their fall shows to advertisers, are in May. Don’t be surprised if the announcement comes then. For the record, Fox which already has a relationship with Vince McMahon and the WWE, have their upfront May 13th. Could the XFL be waiting till the Fox meeting to drop the announcement? Stay tuned to XFL News Hub for the latest on the TV deal.
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