What began as a promising reboot for a spring time football league looking to fill the void for football-crazed fans after the NFL season, has just taken a turn for the worse. The XFL has laid off all their employees and suspended operations indefinitely. According to Pro Football Talk: ” Several XFL employees confirmed on social media today that the whole staff of the XFL was informed that they’re being laid off during a conference call. Although there has not been an official announcement about the 2021 season, it certainly looks like there will be no more XFL at all.” The league got off to a very strong start in its first week. While the numbers fell significantly in the weeks following, the league was averaging over 1.5 million viewers before it suspended play in response to the coronavirus. While 1.5 million is certainly not a large number compared to the NFL, it was a solid performance matched up against other major sports. For example, college basketball was typically pulling in roughly a million viewers on ESPN. In addition, English Premier League games on NBCSN, typically brought in 800 or 900,000. The XFL initially signaled its willingness to resume operations in 2021, but, the lay offs and suspension of operations certainly casts doubt on that idea.
Hopefully once things are back to normal, or as normal as can be expected, the XFL will return. Go St. Louis BattleHawks! 🙂