The latest attempt at a Spring football league is Vince McMahon’s reboot of the XFL coming in 2020. And one of the key components to McMahon’s attempt to compete with an off-season football league was announced on Monday.
That’s when, the XFL revealed that they had struck deals with ABC/ESPN and Fox to broadcast their regular season and playoff games. Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand had the story first on Monday morning:
XFL TV deals with Fox and ESPN becomes official today. Most games will be on broadcast TV. SBJ's story: https://t.co/SKgxeEV3Ni
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) May 6, 2019
The XFL will follow the same schedule pattern that the now-defunct Alliance of American Football tried this past winter. That is: begin play the week after the Super Bowl in February of 2020, running a 10 week regular season before playing two semifinal games in April and then, a championship game on April 26th.
One of the eight cities that will be participating in the inaugural relaunch is Tampa. That franchise will play its games at Raymond James Stadium, which also hosts the NFL’s Buccaneers and college games from the University of South Florida. The Tampa XFL team will be coached by former Bears head coach, longtime CFL head coach and NFL offensive coordinator, Marc Trestman.
Other notable XFL coaches that have been announced include, former Oklahoma college national champion coach Bob Stoops coaching the Dallas franchise and Seattle’s XFL Squad will be coached by former Seahawks quarterback and briefly, Redskins head coach Jim Zorn.
Back to the broadcasting deal, ABC/ESPN and Fox have agreed to divvy up 24 National TV games and pay for the production of each according to Ourand’s sources.
Oliver Luck (above), a former NFL quarterback, who was previously the Big XII conference commissioner and also recently worked as a senior executive for the NCAA, is the new commissioner of the XFL. He told SBJ Monday that having the games repeatedly on ABC and Fox (as well as ESPN) will be large,
“The only game that the Alliance had on broadcast was their opening game on CBS. One of the lessons we took away was that they had a pretty good rating,” Luck said. “It shows that Americans still want to watch football the week after the Super Bowl.”
The games will be rotated between ABC, Fox, ESPN and FS1 largely during the day for most Saturdays and Sundays for the first eight weeks of the season. That will lead up to two, Thursday Night Primetime games that will air on Fox in the first two weeks of April before the XFL’s playoffs.
The XFL semifinals will be televised Saturday afternoon April 18th on Fox and Sunday April 19th by ESPN also in the afternoon. Then, ESPN gets the inaugural championship game the following Sunday afternoon, April 26th.
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