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Sunday, June 16, 2024

UFL Ratings Top XFL and USFL From 2023 in First Season of Merger

  • The joint league benefited from more broadcast television.
  • The league’s postseason is set to kick off this weekend.
Showboats’ T.J. Green (14) wags his finger after making a stop during the UFL game between the San Antonio Brahmas and Memphis Showboats in Simmons Liberty Bank Stadium in Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium in Memphis, Tenn., on Saturday, April 6, 2024.
Chris Day/The Commercial Appeal / USA TODAY NETWORK

The decision to merge the XFL with the USFL seems to have started off strong. 

The United Football League’s first regular season drew a ratings average of 816,000 for its 40 regular-season games on ABC, Fox, ESPN, and ESPN2, according to Sports Business Journal. In 2023, the USFL averaged just over 600,000 viewers, while the XFL had a slightly stronger showing with an average of 622,000, showing promise that there’s a healthy appetite for a spring football league during the NFL offseason. 

With their forces combined, the newest iteration of the spring football league has been able to have a stronger presence on broadcast television with six games generating over 1 million viewers.  

The eight-team league has found success in non-NFL markets based in the Midwest and South such as St. Louis, the former home of the Los Angeles Rams; Birmingham; and San Antonio; all of which made the playoffs, which start this weekend. The Michigan Panthers are the other playoff team and have developed a strong following despite playing in Detroit, where the Lions have a ravenous fan base. 

The UFL championship game will be June 16 in St. Louis. 

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