To begin with, FOX had some solid numbers this weekend. A Saturday game beginning at 12pm ET notched 700k, which is impressive for that time slot. FOX has typically been in the 600-800k range throughout the USFL’s 2023 season, so this is consistent.
Now, Saturday is where things got tricky on NBC. While 617k tuned into Memphis vs. New Orleans, the game only lasted for about half an hour before a weather delay hit. This delay would last over three hours. NBC rerun Birmingham vs. Philadelphia from a week ago, which saw 531,000 viewers stick around.
However, the final three quarters of Memphis/NOLA would air on CNBC, alongside Peacock. With such a long delay, only 47,000 would catch the rest of the game there. Note, CNBC is a cable channel, and averaged 196,000 in a primetime audience (2022).
This entire situation was far from ideal for the USFL. Ultimately, they could only do so much, as the storm caused such a long delay.
Sunday’s game was also effected. Due to weather, a 2pm ET start time was moved to 1pm. This meant that the first hour of the matchup was only available on Peacock, before finally hitting NBC at 2pm. 665,000 did tune into the rest of that game, which isn’t too shabby all things considered. Overall, NBC’s numbers were down this week compared to where they are usually at, but weather played a factor in that.
Now, Sunday night is where the USFL saw a major jump. An exciting shootout between the Philadelphia Stars and New Jersey Generals averaged 903,000 – the second highest rated game on FOX this season. The primetime slot led to such strong numbers, which is an encouraging sign. In addition, both teams featured are not in hubs, making it even more impressive.
While all four games this week were technically on OTA networks, the weather delays and obstacles skewed the numbers for NBC.
USFL TV Ratings From Week Nine, 2022:
New Jersey Generals vs. Michigan Panthers (NBC): 815,000 Birmingham Stallions vs. Houston Gamblers (USA): 350,000 Tampa Bay Bandits vs. New Orleans Breakers (FOX): 742,000 Pittsburgh Maulers vs. Philadelphia Stars (FS1): 389,000
Week nine a season ago saw two games on OTA, and two on cable. The OTA numbers are very consistent with what we saw from FOX.
Generally speaking, the USFL caught an unfortunate break this weekend with the weather issues. There’s not much they can do about that, as safety policies exist for a reason.
Week ten will prove to be a pivotal week of action, with three of the four playoff seeds still undecided. Two games will be on cable next weekend, so expect a dip in the TV ratings average.
What are your thoughts on these USFL TV Ratings from week nine? Which USFL games did you watch? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!