Deep Dive into the First 3 Weeks of the XFL

The XFL has made a sound return after a 19-year rift in league activity. In week 3 of the “new” XFL, TV viewership ratings declined compared to a commendably successful week 1 & 2. Overall, week 3 grossed an average of 1.7 million viewers over the weekend—a loss of 558 thousand tune-ins from Week 2. Week 2 netted an average of 2.2 million viewers per game.

While the overall TV ratings are not notably impressive and steadily declining, fan attendance has remained consistent. This may prove well for the revamped professional spring football league, as teams have retained an average of 20,000 fans a week.

A larger storyline to consider is the need for football in non-football markets. For instance, in 2015, St. Louis was stripped of its NFL franchise with the Rams moving to Los Angles. This past weekend, however, over 29,500 fans attended the game between the St. Louis BattleHawks and New York Guardians – breaking the record for the largest crowd in XFL league history.

St. Louis has also seen a relevant data trend in XFL TV viewership locally. The Battlehawks obtained a rating of 6.0 locally in Week 2. Impressively, this rating doubled the viewership of the local NHL franchise, the St. Louis Blues. Furthermore, in Week 3, St. Louis continued its reign as the most popular local market in the XFL with a TV viewership rating of 8.0. Considering this success thus far, the XFL should consider exploring niche metropolitan markets lacking an NFL franchise.

As the halfway mark through the first season of XFL approaches, we will be paying close attention to the latest trends in XFL. The XFL will be back in action on Saturday at 2 P.M. ET as the Los Angeles Wildcats will take on the New York Guardians on ABC.

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Carson Boykin

Assistant Account Executive, Sports