Debut of UFL on TV a success amidst busy sports weekend

The UFL kicked off its spring football coverage during a busy Easter weekend, competing with the NCAA Tournament and the first full weekend of MLB games. Despite concerns, TV numbers from Fox and ESPN indicate that the decision to start during this time may have been justified.

The league, a result of a merger between the USFL and XFL, had a successful Week 1 with the top game being the St. Louis Battlehawks-Michigan Panthers matchup on Fox, which attracted 1.35 million viewers on Saturday afternoon. Comparing it to the USFL’s numbers from the previous season, the UFL’s viewership was higher. Last year, NBC saw a high of 974,000 viewers in Week 1 for a Sunday game.

Fox’s earlier window on Saturday afternoon drew 1.18 million viewers for the Birmingham Stallions-Arlington Renegades game, surpassing the numbers from NBC and Fox in the first week of the USFL in 2023. While the UFL’s numbers were up compared to the USFL last year, they were lower than what the XFL debuted with in its Week 1 on ABC and ESPN/FX in the previous season.

On Sunday, ESPN started its UFL coverage with 960,000 viewers for

By Sophia Gonzalez

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