“The XFL has a good chance to become a small, viable opportunity for clients based on its WWE ownership backing,” says Adam Schwartz of Horizon Media. “I don’t think the XFL will ever become the NFL, but if the product is strong, it will get viewers to watch and, perhaps, to gamble on the games [and] that will draw more viewer interest.”
If the companies are unable to reach a new agreement, DirecTV subscribers could lose access to ABC, ESPN, Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Freeform.
The NFL returned to the national spotlight on Thursday night, but it remains to be seen if TV’s biggest draw can continue the ratings renaissance it experienced last season. Television networks rely heavily on the NFL. Games and NFL-related programming accounted for 63% of Fox’s gross ratings points last season, according to MoffettNathanson. ESPN, CBS and NBC all got about a quarter of their aggregate gross ratings points from NFL content.
Some 42% of millennials say they’d be likely to subscribe to the offering of Hulu, Disney+ and ESPN+, a Hollywood Reporter/Morning Consult survey finds.
Vince McMahon’s second try at the XFL announced its eight team names and logos on Wednesday. The rebooted league, which had an ill-fated attempt that lasted just one season in 2001, will begin play next February on the weekend following Super Bowl LIV.
Upfront ad sales spending by agencies reaches $2.4 billion. That’s about $300 million more than last season at this same time, and is largely because every one of those networks saw regular season ratings increases for their NFL telecasts last season.