XFL, ESPN Announce Complete 2023 Schedule; All Games to Stream on ESPN+
The XFL makes its triumphant return in 2023, and now we have the full schedule of games, including multiple nationally-televised matchups on ABC, plenty on ESPN and ESPN2, and even some games on FX.
Released in conjunction with its exclusive broadcast partner ESPN, the XFL has unveiled its 43-game schedule, which includes 40 regular-season contests, two playoff games, and a championship matchup between the two best teams in the league. The games will be featured on a combination of ABC (seven games), ESPN and ESPN2 (22 games), and FX (15 games), and all 43 games will stream on ESPN+ and simulcast in 142 countries around the world.
“Through the global scale and support of Disney and ESPN, our fans will have multiple options to access and experience the XFL across broadcast, cable, and streaming,” XFL president Russ Brandon said. “With six weeks until kickoff, we are excited about our partnership and the immersive game day viewing experience that our collaboration will provide viewers.”
Opening kickoff will take place on Saturday, Feb. 18, when the Orlando Guardians take on the Houston Roughnecks on ESPN and FX. On Sunday, Feb. 19, the league will host a doubleheader, as the St. Louis Battlehawks take on the San Antonio Brahmas at 3 p.m. ET on ABC, with the nightcap between the Seattle Sea Dragons and the D.C. Defenders will air at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. ESPN will also be the home for the 2023 XFL playoffs, while the title game will air on ABC.
“Throughout the 2023 XFL season, each platform will have unique opportunities to showcase key moments, from the Championship on ABC, Playoffs on ESPN and ESPN2, and a big opening weekend with games on ESPN, ABC, and FX,” ESPN VP Tim Reed said. “We are also excited to provide another innovative offering for ESPN+ subscribers, with every game available live.”
While upstart spring football leagues have failed in the past (including the original XFL), perhaps current viewing habits could propel it into at least a modicum of success. Over the past few years, trends have confirmed that live sports bring in more viewers than any other product, which is why broadcast companies are so willing to pay significant rates for their broadcast rights.
FOX rebooted the USFL last season to moderate success and announced it would return for 2023, going head-to-head with the XFL. We’ll see if viewers can support not one, but two spring football leagues after failing to support any of them for decades. But with the significant levels of investment from FOX and ESPN respectively, things may just turn out differently for the USFL and XFL this time.
2023 XFL SCHEDULE
|Week #||DATE||Time (ET)||Matchup||NETWORK|
|Week 1||Saturday, Feb. 18||3 p.m.||Vegas Vipers vs Arlington Renegades||ABC|
|8:30 p.m.||Orlando Guardians vs Houston Roughnecks||ESPN/FX|
|Sunday, Feb. 19||3 p.m.||St. Louis Battlehawks vs San Antonio Brahmas||ABC|
|8 p.m.||Seattle Sea Dragons vs D.C. Defenders||ESPN|
|Week 2||Thursday, Feb. 23||9 p.m.||St. Louis Battlehawks vs Seattle Sea Dragons||FX|
|Saturday, Feb. 25||7 p.m.||D.C. Defenders vs Vegas Vipers||FX|
|Sunday, Feb. 26||4 p.m.||San Antonio Brahmas vs Orlando Guardians||ESPN|
|7 p.m.||Arlington Renegades vs Houston Roughnecks||ESPN2|
|Week 3||Saturday, March 4||7 p.m.||Seattle Sea Dragons vs Vegas Vipers||FX|
|Sunday, March 5||1 p.m.||St. Louis Battlehawks vs D.C. Defenders||FX|
|4 p.m.||Orlando Guardians vs Arlington Renegades||FX|
|8 p.m.||San Antonio Brahmas vs Houston Roughnecks||ESPN2|
|Week 4||Saturday, March 11||7 p.m.||Houston Roughnecks vs Orlando Guardians||FX|
|10 p.m.||San Antonio Brahmas vs Seattle Sea Dragons||FX|
|Sunday, March 12||4 p.m.||Arlington Renegades vs St. Louis Battlehawks||ESPN2|
|7 p.m.||Vegas Vipers vs D.C. Defenders||ESPN2|
|Week 5||Thursday, March 16||9 p.m.||Houston Roughnecks vs Seattle Sea Dragons||FX|
|Saturday, March 18||7 p.m.||D.C. Defenders vs St. Louis Battlehawks||FX|
|10 p.m.||Orlando Guardians vs Vegas Vipers||FX|
|Sunday, March 19||10 p.m.||Arlington Renegades vs San Antonio Brahmas||ESPN2|
|Week 6||Saturday, March 25||1:30 p.m.||Seattle Sea Dragons vs Orlando Guardians||ESPN|
|7 p.m.||St. Louis Battlehawks vs Vegas Vipers||FX|
|Sunday, March 26||3 p.m.||San Antonio Brahmas vs Arlington Renegades||ABC|
|Monday, March 27||7 p.m.||Houston Roughnecks vs D.C. Defenders||FX|
|Week 7||Friday, March 31||7 p.m.||Seattle Sea Dragons vs Arlington Renegades||FX|
|Saturday, April 1||3 p.m.||St. Louis Battlehawks vs Houston Roughnecks||ESPN2|
|6 p.m.||San Antonio Brahmas vs Vegas Vipers||ESPN|
|Sunday, April 2||7 p.m.||D.C. Defenders vs Orlando Guardians||FX|
|Week 8||Saturday, April 8||1 p.m.||Vegas Vipers vs St. Louis Battlehawks||ESPN|
|4 p.m.||Arlington Renegades vs Orlando Guardians||ESPN|
|Sunday, April 9||3 p.m.||Houston Roughnecks vs San Antonio Brahmas||ABC|
|7 p.m.||D.C. Defenders vs Seattle Sea Dragons||ESPN2|
|Week 9||Saturday, April 15||12:30 p.m.||Vegas Vipers vs Houston Roughnecks||ABC|
|7 p.m.||Orlando Guardians vs San Antonio Brahmas||ESPN2|
|Sunday, April 16||12 noon||Arlington Renegades vs D.C. Defenders||ESPN|
|3 p.m.||Seattle Sea Dragons vs St. Louis Battlehawks||ESPN|
|Week 10||Saturday, April 22||12 noon||Orlando Guardians vs St. Louis Battlehawks||ESPN|
|3 p.m.||D.C Defenders vs San Antonio Brahmas||ABC|
|Sunday, April 23||3 p.m.||Houston Roughnecks vs Arlington Renegades||ESPN|
|9 p.m.||Vegas Vipers vs Seattle Sea Dragons||ESPN2|
|Playoffs||Saturday, April 29||7 p.m.||Semifinal #1||ESPN2|
|Sunday, April 30||3 p.m.||Semifinal #2||ESPN|
|Championship||Saturday, May 13||3 p.m.||XFL Championship Game||ABC|
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