Debut of UFL on TV a success amidst busy sports weekend

UFL Kicks Off Spring Football With Successful Week 1, Beats Previous USFL Numbers and Nearly Surpasses XFL’s Debut

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 about starting during this time, TV numbers from Fox and ESPN indicate that the decision may have been justified. The league, which resulted from 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. However, 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 UFL’s numbers were up compared to last year’s USFL games on cable TV, they were lower than what XFL debuted with in its Week 1 on ABC and ESPN/FX in the previous season. The XFL kicked off just after Super Bowl LIV and their best Week 1 game drew an impressive number of 1.57 million viewers on ABC alone. On Sunday night ESPN started its UFL coverage with an outstanding performance with an average viewership of over one million views for San Antonio Brahmas-D.C Defenders game while later that evening Memphis Showboats-Houston Roughnecks game averaged around seven hundred thousand views as well which is significantly higher than what was recorded last year when both teams played in different leagues or divisions respectively .

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