XFL III Not Wowing Anyone

The XFL needs to get more people engaged with its product.

Judging a product’s performance after just two weeks is probably a mistake but in the world of television, if an audience turns away after just two weeks’ worth of performances, that signals trouble. The third incarnation of the XFL is not lighting up the box office or drawing viewers to various ESPN platforms where XFL games are located. The 2019 version of spring professional football, the Alliance of American Football died within the season. The second version of the XFL launched in 2020 and was cut down by the COVID-19 pandemic. Another version of the United States Football League started in 2022 and made it through the season but the USFL’s owner, FOX Sports, was looking for additional funding after the season.

The question that needs to be answered is this. Are Americans not interested in football once the Super Bowl ends? The answer is no. College football runs a spring session and that does well and there are no games but there is plenty of noise coming out of the National Football League with the Scouting Combine and free agency. There is a daily countdown to the National Football League Draft which is at the end of April, there are rookie and free agent mini-camps and veteran mini-camp. There is constant interest in football. But spring leagues in terms of the alphabet leagues, USFL, XFL, AAF, SFL, UFL, just cannot gain traction. The 1983-85 version of the springtime USFL had a chance to work had the owners been financially responsible. The 1983 sports world was crowded in the spring, spring training baseball, the NBA and NHL playoffs although those leagues had fewer teams, the NCAA’s men’s basketball tournament was not as big. There was some soccer competition from the dying North American Soccer League. Unless the numbers get better very soon, the XFL will fade away again.

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Evan can be reached at evan_weiner@hotmail.com

The D.C. Defenders, right, line up against the Seattle Dragons for the opening kickoff of the opening football game of the XFL season, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, in Washington, DC. (AP Photo/Stephen Whyno)