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OT: XFL signs deals with ABC/ESPN & FOX/FS1 to televise games

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Posted (edited)

https://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/SB-Blogs/Breaking-News/2019/05/XFL.aspx

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More than half of the XFL's games will be on broadcast TV as part of deals the league is announcing with Fox and ESPN this morning. The broadcast component is important as league execs believe their best chance for success is having games in front of the biggest possible TV audience. Spring football efforts in recent years, including the Alliance of American Football, which shut down last month, did not have the majority of their games on broadcast TV. “Spring football is going to work,” said ESPN Exec VP/Programming & Scheduling Burke Magnus. "The combination of Vince McMahon, WWE, Fox and Disney is an incredible one to take a really hard run at this and see if that’s not the combination that finally makes it work.”

The multiyear deal calls for 24 of the XFL's 43 games to be on broadcast TV (13 on ABC; 11 on Fox), including two Thursday primetime games on Fox in April '20. The networks are not paying a rights fee, but ESPN and Fox are picking up production costs, which generally amount to around $400,000 per game, sources said. As part of the deal, the nets will sell ads around the game; the XFL will handle sponsorships at the venue. ESPN and Fox will hold streaming rights to XFL games. The two nets also will cross-promote games during game broadcasts. “One of the key drivers of a successful professional league is broad exposure and appointment television, and we’ve got that,” said CAA’s Alan Gold, who along with agency's Nick Khan brokered the deal for league.

The XFL worked with the nets to come up with a schedule that will have back-to-back games on Saturday afternoons with two more games on Sundays -- a consistency that league and network execs believe will bring viewers. “We wanted to make sure there was consistency and broad reach to start because this is a new venture,” Magnus said. “This is not an established sports property.” Fox will carry a game on Feb. 8, the weekend after Fox carries the Super Bowl. It is strategy similar to what the AAF employed this year, when CBS carried its inaugural game the week after carrying the Super Bowl -- a game that generated impressive ratings. Fox will carry one playoff semifinal, and ESPN will carry the other semifinal, followed by the championship. “We wanted maximum reach, and these deals provide us with that,” said XFL President & COO Jeffrey Pollack. The nets will pick the game announcers, but have not yet decided who will call or produce them.

League and network execs are optimistic that the XFL will break the mold of previous spring leagues. “Look at other leagues that have been in the spring -- the numbers when they’ve been on television have been very much warranting a broad distribution,” said Fox Sports President of National Networks Mark Silverman. “People like football. If it’s quality football with quality production, we think it’s going to resonate.”

Execs said they took away several lessons from the failed AAF that they believe will help the XFL succeed. “The league to partner with is the league that has financing,” Silverman said. “The XFL has a business plan. It is in it for the long haul. We did our diligence. We made sure this entity is in it for the long run. The business plan is in order. We know the key leadership from our WWE deal.” XFL Commissioner & CEO Oliver Luck agreed. “The only game that the Alliance had on broadcast was their opening game on CBS. One of the lessons we took away was that they had a pretty good rating,” Luck said. “It shows that Americans still want to watch football the week after the Super Bowl.”

XFL-schedule2.ashx?mw=768&hash=740BE120F

Edited by UtahUtesFan

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This is still run by Vince, it's gonna crash and burn.

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I haven't been following it much but it probably won't last. They can not play in these big stadiums and have then have 4,000 people show up. There best bet would have been to do some new arena league with some kind of twist.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, raidersedge said:

I haven't been following it much but it probably won't last. They can not play in these big stadiums and have then have 4,000 people show up. There best bet would have been to do some new arena league with some kind of twist.

Oliver Luck is saying their targeted goal for their stadiums is around 20,000 people. 

I'm not saying the XFL probably won't fail or make it longer than a season, but it seems like Vince & Oliver Luck have done a lot of smart things including this TV deal which is miles better than the AAF's. 

Edited by UtahUtesFan

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So it's actually going to be on TV so people can watch it? Amazing. The AAF should have tried that.

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Deal gives it some legitimacy, but they aren't making much off it. Doesn't mean much of anything really.
Big gamble that likely fails, like always, but if they can weather the storm for a couple years and make it to the next deal with a proven audience...then maybe it'll be something.

Will be interesting if they actually can draw away some rising Juniors to come get paid for a year.

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5 hours ago, DingoLadd said:

This is still run by Vince, it's gonna crash and burn.

Maybe but this time they seem to be taking care of everything first rather then figure things out on the fly like last time. I can't predict what will happen for the future but I'm willing to bet that the new XFL lasts a couple seasons.

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, Kiltman said:

Deal gives it some legitimacy, but they aren't making much off it. Doesn't mean much of anything really.
Big gamble that likely fails, like always, but if they can weather the storm for a couple years and make it to the next deal with a proven audience...then maybe it'll be something.

Will be interesting if they actually can draw away some rising Juniors to come get paid for a year.

XFL will never compete with the NFL and if it tries then it has already failed. If they focus on the niche (relatively) market then they could do just fine. It also shouldn't be thought of as a feeder system either. The XFL needs to remain its own product.

Edited by ILoveTheVikings

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43 minutes ago, ILoveTheVikings said:

XFL will never compete with the NFL and if it tries then it has already failed. If they focus on the niche (relatively) market then they could do just fine. It also shouldn't be thought of as a feeder system either. The XFL needs to remain its own product.

Oh yeah, it'll never happen 

XFL won't play nice like the AAF tried to do, they will be going after sophomores to leach some star power. I'm sure they will get guys with bad home situations.
It's not a feeder system.

 

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Should make the minimum age 18 and maybe you have a chance.

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XFL shouldnt be competing with the NFL, they should be competing with the NCAA to get kids in that are NFL bound and dont want to play for free for an organization making BILLIONS off the backs of their work.

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They've eliminated the fair catch so the XFL is already a success in my book.

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Going to be interesting. It'll never be the NFL obviously but I think it could do well as a secondary football league in the U.S. 

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8 hours ago, DingoLadd said:

This is still run by Vince, it's gonna crash and burn.

Let's hope.

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I'll watch the Houston team...not expecting much, but will do so.

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