With the XFL set to launch in February of 2020, the league is beginning to put more and more pieces together. While their teams have yet to be named, much of their coaching staffs have now been assembled and are continuing to be filled out. The broader structural dynamics are taking shape as well, and a big domino fell yesterday in that regard.
The league officially announced yesterday that their entire broadcast schedule for their 10-week, 40-game regular season will air on a platoon of high-profile networks and stations, headlined by ABC and FOX, as well as ESPN’s family of channels.
The AAF had a pretty strong package, all things considered, with their inaugural game being broadcast on network television and the majority of the rest of their games also being found on popular cable stations, others being readily accessible online.
In comparison, however, the XFL’s package is an entirely different beast, which is quite frankly more robust than what the NHL has. ABC and Fox will air two of the league’s games between them on a weekly basis, which is really a huge coup, in my opinion. To have a presence on network television consistently for 10 weeks is a big deal for a new venture. In a couple of weeks, three of the league’s four games will be on network television, including the opening week. Fox will host one playoffs game, while ESPN will air the other two, including the championship game.
Football in February. Beautiful, isn’t it?
— XFL (@xfl2020) May 6, 2019
“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 reimagine football”, XFL founder and owner Vince McMahon said in a statement about the newly-minted partnerships. “The XFL broadcast schedule provides us with incredible reach and makes it easy for fans to watch our games consistently every weekend”.
In other words, you’re (most likely) not even going to have to look for the games online. Most fans, at least those who are not yet cord-cutters, will probably have access to every single XFL game set to air in 2019 on their basic television sets.
The league will play its games on Saturdays and Sundays in the afternoons and evenings, two per day, rather similar to the AAF, but it’s becoming increasingly obvious that McMahon’s pet project is going to be met with greater anticipation and will be regarded as more legitimate. It helps when you have funding, after all, and the WWE owner has that all taken care of himself for what he maintains is at least two or three years. After all, he has already failed in this arena once. He wants to make sure he exhausts every avenue this time.
Truth be told, there was no way that two American alternative professional football leagues could have survived. There simply would not have been enough talent to spread around to sustain viewership. You can be sure that the XFL will raid the AAF’s resources wherever it can, including its rosters.