XFL Reaches Multiyear Agreement With ESPN, FOX

May 6, 2019, 10:31 AM

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The XFL reached multiyear agreements with ESPN and Fox Sports on Monday to broadcast its games beginning in 2020.

The league also announced its season will start Feb. 8, the weekend after the NFL season ends with the Super Bowl.

This is the second time Vince McMahon has launched a football league. The first version of the XFL — a joint venture of WWE and NBC — lasted one season in 2001.

The only similarities this time are the name and that teams are in New York and Los Angeles. McMahon has created a separate company to run the XFL and has gone with established football executives to run it, including Oliver Luck as commissioner.

“We really think what the XFL brings with Oliver and Vince is a great combo,” said Mark Silverman, president of Fox’s sports networks. “We’ve seen some of the rules changes they have planned and are looking forward to working with them.”

Jeffrey Pollack, the XFL’s president and chief operating officer, said the league has been fortunate in its preparations to have the time and resources.

“There was a lot of interest from various networks about the league. This is further proof that we are situated in the best possible way and are approaching this with a long-term build in mind,” Pollack said.

All 43 XFL games — 40 regular season, three playoffs — will be televised with 24 on ABC or Fox. The remainder will air on ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 and FS2.

Luck worked with ESPN and Fox as partners when he was West Virginia’s athletic director.

“They both have a strong DNA in carrying football. That is very powerful when you have two major companies working hand in hand,” he said.

ABC will broadcast the league’s first game and Fox will have games on Saturday and Sunday during the XFL’s opening weekend. ESPN will show the championship game April 26.

The eight-team league has set its schedule with most games on Saturday and Sunday airing back-to-back. The final two weeks will have a Thursday night game on Fox.

“The technical innovations with cameras, data and player tracking are extremely interesting,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN’s executive vice President of programming. “We all share a vision for spring football and Vince has made it clear that with this version he is dropping hokey but not dropping the creativity.”

The talent agency CAA helped broker the deal and has a longtime relationship with McMahon. The company helped negotiate the latest WWE television agreement, which will have one of its shows moving to Fox on Friday nights starting in late September.

“Having most of the games on ABC and Fox is a game changer compared to other spring football leagues,” said Alan Gold, head of CAA’s media division.

The Alliance of American Football folded after eight weeks last month but its ratings showed there is an appetite for spring football. The AAF averaged 400,000 viewers per game but only one game was on CBS with the rest on CBS Sports Network, TNT and NFL Network.

The AAF also paid up most of the production costs of games while the XFL is not paying anything to the networks. Silverman said that Fox was able to examine the league’s financial plan before making a commitment.

The XFL will also have teams in Dallas, Houston, St. Louis, Seattle, Tampa Bay and Washington. Head coaches have been hired for six teams, with Los Angeles and Houston the remaining openings.


Michelle Bodkin

Utes Making Positive Impressions Early At The East-West Shrine Bowl

Tavion Thomas and Mohamoud Diabate are representing the Utes this week at the East-West Shrine Bowl and making some positive impressions.
13 hours ago
BYU Football, David Latu, Signing Day...
Mitch Harper

BYU Football Recruit Announces Commitment At Father’s Grave

David Latu had one of the more emotional Signing Day announcements you'll watch.
13 hours ago
San Diego State football team runs out of tunnel...
Patrick Kinahan

Patrick Kinahan Explains Why San Diego State To Pac-12 Is ‘No-Brainer’

The ever-changing world of college football has shortchanged the Pac-12, which now is only one season away from losing its stronghold on the lucrative and fruitful Los Angeles market.
13 hours ago
BYU Football - Royal Virgil Helmet...
Mitch Harper

Former Stanford Commit LJ Martin Signs With BYU Football

BYU picked up a talented running back from Texas on Signing Day.
13 hours ago
Associated Press

Legendary QB Tom Brady Retires At 45, Insisting This Time It’s ‘For Good’

Tom Brady, who won a record seven Super Bowls for New England and Tampa, has announced his retirement.
13 hours ago
BYU Football, Big 12 Schedule...
Mitch Harper

Five Takeaways From BYU Football’s Inaugural Big 12 Schedule

The key takeaways from BYU's inaugural Big 12 Conference schedule.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.
KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.
Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.
ksl sports logos...
KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.
Iron Maiden tour...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden returns to Utah in 2022 with The Legacy of the Beast tour.
XFL Reaches Multiyear Agreement With ESPN, FOX