On Monday morning, the XFL announced that the league has reached a partnership with both ESPN and Fox Sports to broadcast games starting with the league’s inaugural 2020 season. Once the league kicks off, there will be a weekly schedule on broadcast television with ABC and Fox accompanied with games on ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 and FS2. Games will be played on Saturdays and Sundays.
The original XFL was born back in 2000 and lived only one season. The league was a bit gimmicky and came about during an era in which people weren’t looking for more football. Now, there’s no telling whether the league will find the success it was looking for the first time around, but it appears as if the league is heading in the right direction.
The XFL plans on keeping football the way we know it — 11-on-11, four downs, same size field — while cutting down on the gimmicks, speeding up the game and focusing on player safety. With these things in mind, along with the fact that the league kicks off right around the time the NFL ends, the XFL could be looking at a much more successful second chance. Their broadcast deal won’t hurt, either.
“We look forward to showcasing the XFL on ESPN and ABC, including the kickoff game and championship, during the league’s inaugural season,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN executive vice president, programming and scheduling. “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.”
Those sentiments were shared by Eric Shanks, the CEO and executive producer for Fox Sports.
“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 kicks off in February of 2020.