Breaking Down UFL TV Ratings From Week Two | Harry Douglas ESPN

Breaking Down UFL TV Ratings From Week Two

The UFL is already through two weeks of action, which is hard to believe. TV Ratings are in for week two, and the league fared decently well considering the amount of competition they were up against.

UFL TV Ratings, Week Two:

Memphis vs. San Antonio: 718,000 (ESPN)
St. Louis vs. Arlington: 908,000 (ABC)
Michigan vs. Birmingham: 903,000 (ESPN)
DC vs. Houston: 849,000 (FOX)

Note: these final tallies do not include streaming, such as ESPN+.

UFL TV Ratings Analysis

First up, let’s take a look at ESPN’s numbers. Across the board, they are very similar to what ESPN saw a week ago. In week one, ESPN’s two games had 960k and 703k. So, that performance maintaining nearly an identical audience is a great sign. There was no true drop off for ESPN.

ABC had a primetime slot for the St. Louis Battlehawks home opener, which many expected to boast a solid rating. This was ABC’s first UFL game of the year. While at first glance, it’s disappointing that this matchup didn’t reach 1M on OTA, one has to consider the competition they were up against:

  • NCAA Men’s Final Four, which garnered 11.4M viewers during the same window
  • Wrestlemania, with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson being heavily featured, interestingly enough

The main “dropoff” from a week ago is FOX, who was surprisingly beat out by ESPN this week. The 4pm ET matchup on Sunday between DC and Houston only saw 849,000 – which is on par for what we saw from FOX with the USFL a year ago. That said, FOX was going up against the women’s national championship, which saw 18.7 million viewers – just an outstanding number.

This week, the UFL averaged about 844,000 viewers per game.

Week Two, 2023

While the array of USFL and XFL games from their respective week two’s in 2023 were primarily on cable networks, the numbers in the UFL are clearly stronger. The infrastructure created by FOX and ESPN with their UFL partnership allows for games to be featured weekly on OTA networks such as FOX and ABC. Not to mention, ESPN being the flagship cable channel of the league is excellent news.

Week Two, USFL: 467,000 average
Week Two, XFL: 647,000 average

Gone are the days of spring football on FX and USA Network. If these numbers for the UFL can stay consistent, one would assume that executive leadership will have more confidence in this product heading into season two.

Final Thoughts

For the UFL, we always knew they would be dealing with competition throughout this inaugural season. It’s a positive sign that the numbers did not see tremendous drops from week one to week two, like we have seen in previous spring football iterations.

With three games on OTA networks for this upcoming weekend, and less overall competition, hopefully we can see the UFL crack one million once again.

What are your thoughts on these UFL TV Ratings? Will they improve in week three? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!