- After the closure of the XFL, the league has been attempting to find a new owner to purchase the secondary football league.
- ESPN and FOX are both tied into a TV deal with the XFL that the league Is attempting to sell in a package deal to its new buyers, much to the disproval of the networks.
- Betting odds are available for who will purchase the XFL with Disney/Fox the favorite at +180.
LAS VEGAS – The second iteration of the XFL was off to humble beginnings during its short five weeks of playback in the early days of 2020.
Before the pandemic came and flipped the world upside down, the XFL was enjoying a decent restart to its alternative football platform.
The XFL had strong viewership numbers at the beginning of the year that began to trail off before the eventual shutdown of the league. While the XFL was not the biggest thing in the world during its short time, it was by most means a success.
The XFL provided a much-needed football fix after the Super Bowl for both fans and legal sports bettors. The league was producing a solid, entertaining product, that was greatly enhanced by the effort and attention given to the media coverage and broadcasts done by ESPN and FOX.
A lucrative deal was in place between the league and the networks to continue this coverage into the future, before the league was unceremoniously shut down.
Due to the pandemic, the XFL was forced to suspend its operations once again and lay off nearly all of its staff. The XFL now stands in bankruptcy court, where they are attempting to find a new buyer for the promotion.
According to The Athletic, the XFL is looking to group its TV deal into a potential package for the new buyer, much to the chagrin of the major networks.
ESPN wants out of the deal, claiming that new management will not provide the XFL the same platform that Vince McMahon and his staff were aiming for. ESPN claims that the product is fundamentally different under a different owner, and voids the terms of the original deal.
In a bankruptcy court motion against the transfer of the contract, ESPN wrote:
“Without knowing the identity and business plan of the proposed Successful Bidder, ESPN objects and does not consent to the potential assumption and assignment of the Telecast Agreement.”
FOX falls into the same boat, although they are simply looking to restructure their deal in leu of new ownership.
This gets added to the sea of issues already facing the remaining staff of the XFL. While it would be great to be able to bring back the league, no one can blame the media networks in their concerns over the direction of its leadership.
To bring the direction back around the sports betting, online sportsbooks have taken advantage of the current situation by offering prop bets on who is most likely to purchase the league.
Who Will Purchase the XFL?
- Disney/Fox +180
- NFL +250
- Vince McMahon +400
- Sinclair Broadcast Group +450
- Sheldon Adelson +450
- Shane McMahon +550
- J-Lo/A-Rod +700
- Turner Sports +800
- CFL +1000
- AEW (Tony Khan) +1000
- Mark Cuban +1100
- The Rock +1200
- Michael Jordan +1500
- Eric Bischoff +1800
- Eddie Debartolo +2000
- The Trump Family +5000
- Dan Snyder +10000
While the choices get a little ridiculous towards the end, the most likely scenario is still the league being purchased by a large media conglomerate.
If Disney or Sinclair were able to purchase the league, they would have the funding and infrastructure to support and rebuild the league instead of letting it fold for the third time. While the future of the XFL remains hopeful, many don’t expect it to survive a third death.
Jimmy began his journalistic journey as a stat recorder and PA announcer for his middle school baseball team. Full of experience across print, broadcast, and sports radio, he brings his knowledge and toolkit to the LegalSportsBetting team. You can find him watching sports, making parlays, and listening to music on any day ending in Y.