- The XFL had its inaugural game this past weekend.
- The new football league had much higher viewership for its opening games than the AAF.
- The D.C. Defenders and Seattle Dragons match had a peak of 4 million viewers.
WASHINGTON – The Seattle Dragons and D.C. Defenders’ opening game brought in an average of 3.3 million viewers.
The TV ratings were a bit higher than the AAF a year ago and with the emphasis the league has put on XFL betting, viewership could continue to grow.
A Strong Start
This past weekend marked the inaugural re-start for the XFL. The NFL season is over, and football fans all over the United States are looking for something new. The XFL proved this past weekend that it could provide the entertainment fans are looking for.
In the first match of the XFL season, the Seattle Dragons took on the D.C. Defenders. Because it was the first game of the season and the first for the franchise reboot, many curious fans tuned in.
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) February 10, 2020
The first game of the XFL season averaged around 3.3 million viewers. Not only that, but the game peaked at around 4 million viewers during the last portion of the game. The XFL opening game and weekend fared much better than the Alliance of American Football (AAF) did in 2019.
AAF: 2.9 million viewers (CBS)
XFL: 3.3 million viewers (ABC)
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) February 10, 2020
The AAF only brought in 2.9 million viewers and that viewership quickly fizzled during the rest of the season. However, the XFL had a better chance of success than the AAF did. The AAF started airing on CBS but then moved to different and less viewed networks. Because of this, the AAF quickly died out. The XFL will continue to air on ESPN, ABC, and FOX throughout the season.
Bringing On The Bets
Legal sports betting could also thrust the XFL into success. The XFL has made it clear that they want people to bet on XFL games. Announcers are allowed to talk about various betting lines during the games. Betting lines are also visible during XFL games as well.
Encouraging XFL betting may allow the league to have more staying power than the AAF did. Sports betting was not as widely available during the AAF’s inaugural season. The XFL is looking to take advantage of the new sportsbooks appearing in the United States.
However, it could be simple curiosity that drove the high viewership this past weekend. It is possible that the XFL viewership could fizzle out much like the AAF did. The next game from the XFL will be the New York Guardians taking on the D.C. Defenders on Saturday, February 15 on ABC.
Daniel is a writer that enjoys writing to inform readers. When Daniel was writing for The Borgen Project, he liked informing the world about victories in global poverty issues. Daniel is also an avid horse racing fan who has been going to the track with his father for over a decade betting the ponies. When he is not writing about sports betting or at the track, Daniel loves playing video games and watching sports in his spare time.