Sports | May 6, 2019 1:36 pm

XFL Reboot Inks Broadcast Deals With ESPN, ABC, Fox

Vince McMahon's forthcoming football league has some serious TV partners

Vince McMahon talks at an XFL press conference. (Tom Hauck /Allsport
Vince McMahon talks at an XFL press conference. (Tom Hauck /Allsport
Getty Images

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Vince McMahon’s upstart football league has pinned down broadcast deals with some pretty serious partners.

The XFL, which is set to kick off in February 2020, will (once again) offer football fans an alternative to the National Football League and will be broadcast on two of the same networks which currently broadcast the NFL each week.

Thanks to deals with Disney and the Fox Broadcasting Company, XFL games will be air on ESPN, ABC and Fox.

“We look forward to showcasing the XFL on ESPN and ABC, including the kickoff game and championship, during the league’s inaugural season,” said ESPN executive VP Burke Magnus. “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.”

Comprised of eight teams (Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, St. Louis, Seattle, Tampa Bay and Washington, D.C.) competing for four playoff spots, the XFL’s inaugural season will last for 10 games. Previously, McMahon had said no players with criminal records will be eligible, nor will anyone who kneels for the national anthem.

“People don’t want social and political issues coming into play when they are trying to be entertained,” McMahon told ESPN. “We want someone who wants to take a knee to do their version of that on their personal time. I can say, ‘Here are the rules, and as long as you are playing football in the stadium for us, you follow these rules.’”

While there’s no way to know for sure how the XFL will be received this second time around, the fact it has locked down TV deals with Disney and Fox certainly bodes well for its future as inconsistency about where the AAF, a similar startup league, could be found on TV was one of the factors that led to its downfall.