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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Disney Calls Audible With XFL Schedule to Boost Ratings

  • The XFL's opening round only brought in an average of 1.3 million viewers across four games.
  • A total of four games will be moved from FX to other Disney channels.
St. Louis Battlehawks versus the Seattle Sea Dragons in XFL action.
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Following viewership decline in the XFL’s first three weeks, Disney has moved some of the league’s broadcasts to its more popular ESPN and ABC channels in an effort to gain viewers. 

In the first season of a five-year global broadcast deal — which will see all 43 games aired across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, and FX and streamed on ESPN+ — ratings declined by 50% from Week 1 to Week 2, and another 11% from Week 2 to 3.

The opening round only brought in an average of 1.3 million viewers across four games, down from the 2.5 million it averaged on the first weekend in 2020.

Now, a total of four games — one in Week 5, two in Week 6, and one in Week 7 — will be moved from FX to one of the other channels. The Week 7 game has also been moved to a day earlier.

Two other games in Week 7 will swap between ESPN and ESPN2, and will take place at different times than originally scheduled.

The XFL was revived when Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Dany Garcia, and RedBird Capital Partners purchased the league in August 2020 for $15 million. It had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy months before due to the pandemic.

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