3 Key Points:
- NBC Withdrawal: NBC will not broadcast the new XFL-USFL merger league due to scheduling conflicts.
- New Broadcast Partners: ESPN/ABC and Fox/FS1 will share broadcasting duties for the league.
- Merger Details: The merger, officially cleared last week, sets the league’s kickoff for March 30, 2024.
The world of spring football is witnessing significant shifts in broadcasting dynamics following the merger of the XFL and USFL. A recent report by John Ourand from Sports Business Journal has brought to light NBC’s decision to step back from broadcasting the newly merged league.
NBC, which had been a carrier of USFL games since the league’s relaunch in April 2022, cited scheduling conflicts as the primary reason for this decision.
Greg Hughes, NBC Sports EVP/Communications, stated, “We enjoyed our relationship with the USFL and Fox, but the new earlier schedule made it impossible for us to continue. We wish them success with the new league and their new partners.”
This move comes as the merged league, which received federal clearance last week, announced a March 30, 2024 kickoff. NBC’s existing commitments to golf events during the early weeks of the season have made it challenging to accommodate the football windows.
In the wake of NBC’s withdrawal, ESPN/ABC and Fox/FS1 are set to take the reins. This arrangement marks a reunion of sorts, as both networks were partners in broadcasting the XFL in 2020. The collaboration between these networks is expected to provide comprehensive coverage of the league’s games, ensuring a seamless viewing experience for fans.
The merger and the ensuing broadcast partnership changes are influenced by various factors, including a new deal with NASCAR and the likely addition of NBA games to NBC’s schedule. These developments are reshaping the broadcast landscape for spring football.
As the year draws to a close, insiders hint at a quiet December, with significant news and updates anticipated in January. The merged league’s journey, with its new broadcast partners, is poised to be a pivotal chapter in the evolution of spring football’s broadcasting and viewership.
With this change, the landscape of sports broadcasting continues to evolve, adapting to new partnerships and schedules. The XFL and USFL, through their merger, are not only creating a new chapter in football history but also in how the sport is consumed by its fans.
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