The XFL announced their 2020 season slate of games will air weekly on both broadcast and cable networks, including the championship game that will air on ESPN.
The season will kick off on February 8, 2020, and the league’s game will air weekly on broadcast TV with ABC and FOX, with complimentary games on cable on ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 and FS2). The XFL TV schedule will feature two Saturday afternoon games starting at 2 pm ET as well as two additional games on Sunday afternoons.
“We are thrilled to partner with ESPN and FOX Sports, two innovative media companies with extensive experience in world-class football production that will undoubtedly help us reimagine football,” said Vince McMahon, XFL Founder & Chairman. “The XFL broadcast schedule provides us with incredible reach and makes it easy for fans to watch our games consistently every weekend.”
The agreements were negotiated by CAA Sports and Evolution Media Capital (EMC) on behalf of the league; ESPN EVP Burke Magnus and FOX Sports CEO Eric Shanks also commented on the announcement, praising the vision of the football league’s return season and how it will provide key programming:
“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.”
“We welcome the XFL to the FOX Sports Family and are pleased to expand our relationship with Vince McMahon,” said Eric Shanks, FOX Sports CEO & Executive Producer. “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.”
According to The Sports Business Journal Daily, both ESPN and FOX will pick up production costs (that value around $400,000 per game) and will sell ads around the game, while the league handles sponsorship at the venues in which the games are played. The Wall Street Journal also echoed this, and noted ESPN and FOX will also hold streaming rights to the XFL games as well. Both outlets noted no cash is changing hands on the deal.
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