ESPN and FOX did a lot to give the XFL as much exposure as possible leading up to its debut this past weekend. Judging by the new TV ratings from ESPN’s two games, it looks like that investment is quickly paying off.
According to John Ourand of Sports Business Journal, ESPN’s two Week 1 XFL games averaged 2.9 million viewers. Per the report, Saturday’s Seattle-DC game on ABC averaged 3.03 million viewers.
Sunday’s St. Louis-Dallas game on ESPN averaged 2.495 million viewers. But in the city of St. Louis, Missouri, the game got a 7.4 rating.
Combine those strong TV numbers with a respectable attendance figure for Seattle-DC at Audi Field, and you have a recipe for something that may be sustainable.
ESPN's two XFL games over the weekend averaged 2.9 million viewers.
* Sunday's St. Louis-Dallas game averaged 2,495,000 viewers (and pulled a 7.4 rating in St. Louis.
* Saturday's Seattle-DC game averaged 3.303 million viewers.
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) February 10, 2020
The XFL got started with a bang as the DC Defenders beat the Seattle Dragons. There were explosive plays, fascinating new rule implementations, and fun new looks at the game.
While the XFL’s fate will ultimately be decided by how much money it can bring in, it’s already doing about as well as any alternate to the NFL we’ve seen in decades.
Will the XFL be able to sustain this level of viewership, or is interest doomed to wane in the weeks ahead?