The new-look XFL is coming to a gridiron near you in less than one year's time, and while it's not clear just how viable Vince McMahon's latest venture is going to be for the long haul, we now know which television channels are willing to step up and broadcast real, live football once the 2019 NFL season has come and gone.
XFL TV Deal
Starting in February of 2020, the XFL will be seen across FOX Sports and the ESPN family of networks.
The XFL has reached a multi-year agreement to have their games on ESPN and Fox. More than half will be either ABC or Fox with the rest on ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 or FS2. Inaugural season next year will kick off on Feb. 8.— Joe Reedy (@joereedy) May 6, 2019
The big takeaway here is just how many games will be shown specifically on ABC and FOX-- that is, free TV. It's one thing to stick a game on cable in the middle of the afternoon during the sleepy sports period immediately after the Super Bowl, but putting the unproven, possibly unpredictable XFL on broadcast networks 24 times is a strong indicator of how bullish Disney and FOX Corp are feeling about the new product.
For their sake, here's to hoping the only thing this league has in common with the AAF is the number of letters.
BREAKING: broadcast TV telecasts to be big component for @xfl2020 multiyear deals with @espn and @FOXSports (24 of 43 games on ABC or Fox). No rights fee paid. ESPN and Fox hold streaming rights https://t.co/UEbdcpoL1v pic.twitter.com/USdLtXTmHT— Sports Business Journal (@sbjsbd) May 6, 2019
America is bonkers for football such that huge opportunities remain in the months that make up the NFL offseason. The Alliance of American Football may have been a generally unmitigated disaster, but based on Monday's newly-announced TV deals, the XFL is set to make an ambitious claim for relevance in the years to come.