XFL Announces Partnership Deal with ESPN, ABC and FOX Properties to Televise Games
The XFL returns next spring, with an expected kick-off date of Feb. 8, 2020, and the league just made a crucial step in securing a big-time audience, announcing multi-year agreements with ESPN and FOX Sports to televise games.
According to ESPN, XFL games will air weekly on broadcast TV (ABC and FOX) complemented by games on cable (ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 and FS2). For streaming-service users, each of these channels are available on most services like Sling TV, Hulu Live TV, PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV, AT&T TV NOW.
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Additionally, the XFL playoffs will air on FOX and ESPN, with the championship game exclusively available on ESPN next April.
Following the completion of the deal, ESPN’s executive vice president of programming and scheduling, Burke Magnus, had this to say about the excitement to televise the new XFL; which had previously launched in 2001 and lasted just one season before folding.
“We look forward to showcasing the XFL on ESPN and ABC, including the kickoff game and championship, during the league’s inaugural season. — Vince McMahon and Oliver Luck are two of the sports industry’s most creative and experienced leaders, and they have exciting plans for this league. We believe in their vision for the XFL, which will be a great addition to our year-round commitment to football.”
The XFL, which was formed by WWE’s Vince McMahon, has teams in Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, St. Louis, Seattle, Tampa Bay and Washington, D.C. this time around, with hopes of expanding. Given McMahon’s success in promoting wrestling over the past half-decade, FOX Sports’ CEO Eric Shanks is excited about his network partnering with the league.
“We welcome the XFL to the FOX Sports Family and are pleased to expand our relationship with Vince McMahon. Football is in FOX Sports’ DNA and a key component of our programming strategy. Alongside Oliver Luck and his incredible team, we’re excited for the debut of the XFL on FOX Sports.”
The XFL’s TV schedule will feature back-to-back games every Saturday at 2 p.m. ET, and two games on Sunday afternoons. The talent for broadcasts will be announced at a later date.