For the second year in a row, a startup professional football league will kickoff their inaugural season one week after the Super Bowl. In 2019 it was the Alliance of American Football League, in 2020 it’s Vince McMahon’s reboot of the XFL, which announced their broadcast schedule Tuesday.
During its first season, the XFL will partner with ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, FOX, FS1 and FS2 as they combine to televise every game of the league’s 10-week season.
“There is such an appetite for football in America, and FOX Sports is thrilled to offer our viewers even more of the sport they love with the debut of XFL on FOX,” said Mark Silverman, President, National Networks FOX Sports. “As part of our continued commitment to live sports, we’re thrilled February no longer marks the end of football season at FOX Sports, but the beginning of a new partnership and robust schedule.”
Historically, startup professional football leagues have struggled to gain traction and find their niche. One year after the failed Alliance of American Football League and nearly two decades after the XFL lasted just one season, the reboot hopes to convince fans football doesn’t end after the Super Bowl.
The XFL’s eight-team, 10-week schedule will average two games every Saturday and Sunday, from early February until the playoffs in late April.
Saturday, February 8: Seattle Dragons at DC Defenders, 2pm, ABC
Saturday, February 8: Los Angeles Wildcats at Houston Roughnecks, 5pm, FOX
Sunday, February 9: Tampa Bay Vipers at New York Guardians, 2pm, FOX
Sunday, February 9: St. Louis BattleHawks at Dallas Renegades, 5pm, ESPN
Saturday, February 15: New York Guardians at DC Defenders, 2pm, ABC
Saturday, February 15: Tampa Bay Vipers at Seattle Dragons, 5pm, FOX
Sunday, February 16: Dallas Renegades at Los Angeles Wildcats, 3pm, ABC
Sunday, February 16: St. Louis BattleHawks at Houston Roughnecks, 6pm, FS1
Saturday, February 22: Houston Roughnecks at Tampa Bay Vipers, 2pm, ABC
Saturday, February 22: Dallas Renegades at Seattle Dragons, 5pm, FOX
Sunday, February 23: New York Guardians at St. Louis BattleHawks, 3pm, ESPN
Sunday, February 23: DC Defenders at Los Angeles Wildcats, 6pm, FS1
Saturday, February 29: Los Angeles Wildcats at New York Guardians, 2pm, ABC
Saturday, February 29: Seattle Dragons at St. Louis BattleHawks, 5pm, FOX
Sunday, March 1: Houston Roughnecks at Dallas Renegades, 4pm, FS1
Sunday, March 1: DC Defenders at Tampa Bay Vipers, 7pm, ESPN2
Saturday, March 7: Seattle Dragons at Houston Roughnecks, 2pm, ABC
Saturday, March 7: New York Guardians at Dallas Renegades, 5pm, FOX
Sunday, March 8: St. Louis BattleHawks at DC Defenders, 3pm, FS1
Sunday, March 8: Tampa Bay Vipers at Los Angeles Wildcats, 9pm, ESPN
Saturday, March 14: Houston Roughnecks at New York Guardians, 2pm, ABC
Saturday, March 14: St. Louis BattleHawks at Tampa Bay Vipers, 5pm, FS2
Sunday, March 15: Dallas Renegades at DC Defenders, 4pm, FS1
Sunday, March 15: Los Angeles Wildcats at Seattle Dragons, 7pm, ESPN2
Saturday, March 21: Dallas Renegades at Tampa Bay Vipers, 2pm, ABC
Saturday, March 21: Los Angeles Wildcats at St. Louis BattleHawks, 5pm, FOX
Sunday, March 22: New York Guardians at Seattle Dragons, 3pm, ABC
Sunday, March 22: DC Defenders at Houston Roughnecks, 6pm, FS1
Saturday, March 28: Tampa Bay Vipers at DC Defenders, 2pm, ABC
Saturday, March 28: St. Louis BattleHawks at New York Guardians, 5pm, FOX
Sunday, March 29: Houston Roughnecks at Los Angeles Wildcats, 3pm, ABC
Sunday, March 29: Seattle Dragons at Dallas Renegades, 6pm, FS1
Thursday, April 2: Dallas Renegades at Houston Roughnecks, 8pm, FOX
Saturday, April 4: DC Defenders at New York Guardians, 2pm, ABC
Sunday, April 5: Tampa Bay Vipers at St. Louis BattleHawks, 12pm, ESPN
Sunday, April 5: Seattle Dragons at Los Angeles Wildcats, 6pm, FS1
Thursday, April 9: Los Angeles Wildcats at Dallas Renegades, 8pm, FOX
Saturday, April 11: Houston Roughnecks at Seattle Dragons, 2pm, ABC
Sunday, April 12: DC Defenders at St. Louis BattleHawks OR New York Guardians at Tampa Bay Vipers*, 3pm, ABC
Sunday, April 12: New York Guardians at Tampa Bay Vipers OR DC Defenders at St. Louis BattleHawks*, 6pm, FS1
Saturday, April 18: East 2 at East 1, 3pm, FOX
Sunday, April 19: West 2 at West 1, 3pm, ESPN
Sunday, April 26: XFL Championship, 3pm, ESPN
Brandon Contes is a former reporter for BSM, now working for Awful Announcing. You can find him on Twitter @BrandonContes or reach him by email at Brandon.Contes@gmail.com.
FOX Sued for Patent Infringement Over NFL Scheduling
“Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.”
An analytics company is suing FOX over claims that the network developed a mapping tool using their patented technology to create a season slate of NFL games.
Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.
The lawsuit claims FOX used access to Recentive’s predictive analytics tools to develop a resource of their own that would create optimal schedules for its 1 and 4 p.m. NFLwindows.
The company is seeking a declaration that FOX infringed on two of its patents. Recentive is also suing for damages and wants an injunction keeping FOX from using Recentive tech and preventing the network from “selling, offering for sale, marketing or using any internal network and mapping analytics tool for the scheduling and regionalization of events covered by the patents.”
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.
FOX Will Use Chris Fallica On Belmont Stakes Coverage
“While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.”
The Bear will be more than just a college football presence when he moves to FOX. Chris Fallica wrapped his final duties for ESPN last week and is now headed to a new network and will tackle some new responsibilities.
Fallica’s new role at FOX will involve plenty of sports gambling content. Richard Deitsch of The Athletic reports that content will include horse racing.
“One Fox Sports source said look for him to appear on the Belmont Stakes coverage,” Deitsch wrote in his weekly media column.
Starting in 2023, horse racing’s Triple Crown will not be seen all in one place. While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.
How the network intends to use Chris Fallica on the broadcast is not clear. Given that he is coming to the network to contribute to gambling conversations, it is likely he would either be making picks or at least reviewing odds right up to the start of the race.
NBCUniversal CEO Expects Disney To Buy Company’s Hulu Stake
“Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal.”
The Walt Disney Company owns 67% of Hulu. The other 33% is owned by NBCUniversal. The latter company doesn’t expect that to be the case forever.
“It’s worth a lot of money,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said at an investor conference earlier this week, “and I think there’s no indication that anything else is going to happen than Disney writing us a big check.”
Hulu is primarily a platform for movies and television shows. It is a major part of Disney’s deal with the NHL though. The streaming giant is part of the package of 103 games that are exclusive to ESPN and ABC. Hulu is also a live TV provider for many. The company’s Hulu Plus Live TV package had over 4 million subscribers as of the summer of 2022.
Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal. He credits sports and content migrated from Hulu as the reason Peacock has grown to 18 million paid subscriptions since September.
Deadline reports that if Disney does want to acquire NBCUniversal’s stake in Hulu, “the price could fluctuate but will be in the tens of billions of dollars.”