XFL TV Ratings FAR Better than Projected

Posted By James Walsh on 02/13/20


People love football! I'm with them!

It’s still early, but the first weekend ratings for the XFL were well above what the networks’ targets for success are, according to the latest report. Dave Meltzer noted on Wrestling Observer Radio that the opening viewership numbers of 3.3 million were more or less around the expected numbers, but that they showed strength throughout the weekend instead of dropping after the initial day of games unlike the previous XFL. This would indicate that viewers stayed around to watch games throughout the weekend and didn’t just tune in for the first out of curiosity and then bail.

The first games on Saturday did a 1.1 demo rating and 3.3 million on ABC and 1.1 demo rating/3.29 million on FOX, while Sunday’s game on ESPN did a 0.93/2.495 million on ESPN which has much lower market penetration than the broadcast networks. Sunday’s game in particular was considered a “home run” because of ESPN being in lower homes and the fact that it held up so well to the first-day games.

Meltzer noted that the target numbers for success once the games level out in audience would be around 1.5 million for FOX and 700,000 on FOX Sports 1 and ESPN. The games will almost certainly drop for week two, but if they can hold at those numbers the networks will be happy.

It was also noted that the attendance for the games was about 17,000 which is what was expected for the season, as a lot of season tickets were sold. The games were all papered (complimentary tickets given out), but it was noted that both the original XFL games and the AAF games from last year’s failed startup league were as well.