Early signs from ratings patterns for the relaunch of the XFL thus far have been better than television network executives expected.
Unlike the original XFL, which drew high numbers as expected for the initial launch with the first games drawing millions before quickly dwindling down massive amounts with each following game, the relaunch of the XFL has held strong in terms of viewership.
The opening viewership numbers of 3.3 million viewers were essentially what the network heads were expecting, however what they were not expecting was the numbers to hold strong throughout the follow-up games that would air throughout the remainder of the weekend.
Yet, that is exactly what happened.
This would seem to indicate that viewers remained locked in with interest in the XFL after checking out the debut game, instead of tuning in for the curiosity / nostalgia factor for the initial game only to wane in interest as the season progressed.
On Saturday, the first games drew a 1.1 rating in the demo, with 3.3 million viewers tuned in on ABC and a 1.1 demo rating, with 3.29 million viewers on FOX.
Meanwhile, Sunday’s game on ESPN did a 0.93 demo rating, with 2.495 million viewers on ESPN, which has much lower market penetration than the aforementioned broadcast networks.
Sunday’s game in particular was considered a “home run” by network executives due to the fact that ESPN is in fewer overall homes, and the fact that it held up so well in comparison to the numbers for the first-day games.
The games will almost certainly drop for the upcoming second week, however the closer to those numbers the XFL can get, the happier the network executives will be going forward.
In other positive news coming out of the opening weekend for the XFL relaunch, the attendance for the games was approximately 17,000 fans. This is what was expected for the season, as a lot of season tickets were sold, which essentially guarantees certain attendance levels for games with teams based out of certain markets.
Complimentary tickets were given out for the opening weekend games, although it was noted that both the original XFL games and the AAF games from last year’s failed startup professional football league had "papered" attendance as well.
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