Former Seahawk Jim Zorn named head coach and general manager of Seattle’s XFL franchise
XFL 2.0 finally has its TV partners.
The league announced that starting in February of 2020, the league will broadcast games on ABC, ESPN, FOX and FS1. The multi-year broadcast deal includes back to back games on Saturday and Sunday afternoons during the regular season. The championship game will be shown on ESPN on April 26.
“We think with a start up league like ours, exposure is very important and we’ll have streaming capabilities but initially we wanted to focus on our broadcast package,” XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck told The News Tribune in February. “Because it’s a start up, you can’t totally rely on streaming because it’s not destination viewing, people need to sample the product and it’s much easier to sample the product on terrestrial television. I believe we have a pretty robust package for that.”
During the XFL’s lone season of 2001, games were broadcast on NBC, UPN and TNN. The league struggled after reaching a 9.5 rating in week one. After struggling to keep those high numbers, the league’s low-point came when a matchup between Chicago and Los Angeles garnered a 1.5 rating, the lowest for a live sports broadcast in prime time at the time.
Nevertheless, XFL 2.0’s commitment to having spring football has convinced TV executives to give it another shot. This multi-year investment by both FOX and Disney (owner of both ABC and ESPN) says as much.
“We are thrilled to partner with ESPN and FOX Sports, two innovative media companies with extensive experience in world-class football production that will undoubtedly help us re-imagine football,” said Vince McMahon, XFL Founder & Chairman in a press release. “The XFL broadcast schedule provides us with incredible reach and makes it easy for fans to watch our games consistently every weekend.”
The league will have teams in Dallas, Seattle, Washington D.C, Houston, Tampa Bay, New York, St. Louis, Houston, and Los Angeles.
Below is a look at what the 2020 XFL broadcast schedule: