UFL kicks off strong during busy sports weekend

UFL debuts strong but can it maintain viewership to compete with XFL and USFL?

The UFL, a new spring football league, made its debut during a crowded sports weekend and drew impressive audiences. The games were televised by Fox and ESPN. On Saturday, the opener featuring Birmingham and Arlington attracted 1.18 million viewers while the later game between St. Louis and Michigan had 1.35 million viewers. On Sunday, the ESPN-televised games drew 960,000 viewers for D.C. at San Antonio and 703,000 viewers for Memphis at Houston.

Comparatively, the XFL had higher numbers in its opening weekend last year with both games exceeding 1.5 million viewers. On the other hand, the USFL had lower numbers during its 2023 Week 1 with a high of 974,000 viewers. The big question now is whether the UFL will be able to maintain or improve upon its Week 1 numbers to build a strong and sustainable viewership for the remainder of its inaugural season.

As reported by Karp, history has shown that numbers tend to decrease as the season progresses especially when it comes to spring football leagues such as XFL and USFL from 2023. However, it remains to be seen whether the UFL can buck this trend and build a strong viewership throughout its inaugural season

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