Is the XFL the future of football?

Is the XFL the future of football?
Vince McMahon founder of the XFL League. FOTO: XFL Hub News

Última actualización 6 marzo, 2020 por Alberto Llopis

Vince McMahon founder of the XFL League. FOTO: XFL Hub News

After a near two-decade hibernation, the Vince McMahon-WWE owned XFL made a return to the gridiron on Saturday, February 8th. The league’s eight teams were given the chance to showcase their skills in four nationally televised games. Week 1’s ratings were perhaps the biggest shock, along with the quality on the field being miles ahead of the 2001 version of the league. The XFL is off to a strong start and football fans can the latest 1xBit bonus code before wagering on the next week of games.

America’s Game

The XFL’s ratings for week 1 reaffirmed that football is “America’s sport”. The four games offered up by the league dominated the sports schedule in the United States and even ESPN UK showed all four XFL games for British gridiron fans.

How well did the XFL’s ratings do in week 1? Three of the four XFL games outdrew every NBA and college basketball telecast during the weekend. Yes, every NBA and college basketball game had lower ratings than three of the four XFL games. The XFL averaged 3.12 million viewers per game. The NBA, which is attempting to add new elements to make the season more competitive and watchable, attracted an average of just 3.95 million viewers during the 2019-20 playoffs. It is a great start for the XFL.

Can the ratings last?

Before the XFL and its fans begin to proclaim spring football is here for good, it must be reiterated that the Alliance of American Football drew solid numbers in its first week in 2019. The AAF wasn’t long for this world, however, as financial issues struck and it folded halfway through the season. McMahon is a billionaire and has sponsors that the AAF didn’t. Having failed with the XFL in 2001, McMahon will aim to make it a success this time around or die trying.

There are a lot of differences between the 2001 version of the XFL and the 2020 edition. The biggest differences are the landscape of television and fans. The XFL has a new generation of fans that were not old enough to watch the original version. The league has benefitted from the change in television broadcasting and three million viewers is a massive hit in modern television.

What about the product on the field?

The product on the field is what will bring people back for more each week. Compared to the talent that was in XFL v 1.0, the players on the field in week 1 were far better. The league has been able to draw former NFL talent unlike previously and top-rated ex-college players that didn’t make it in the pros. Some of the players weren’t even give a chance and went undrafted in the NFL.

New York Guardians quarterback Matt McGloin was the poster boy of XFL second chances in week 1. The former undrafted quarterback from Penn State played for the Oakland Raiders and Houston Texans while being on the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs practice squads. McGloin went 15 for 29, threw 182 yards, one touchdown pass, and one touchdown run in week 1 versus the Tampa Bay Vipers.

Week 1 may not be an anomaly but the following games will be the true litmus test for the XFL. It isn’t just ratings and the play on the field that is strong. A reported 17,000 fans showed up in New York for the Guardians versus Tampa Bay Vipers. Ticket sales are strong and spring football could finally succeed.

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