USFL 2022 Schedule

Breaking Down USFL TV Ratings From Week Ten

The final week of the USFL regular season is complete. TV Ratings were delayed due to Juneteenth, which resulted in a late analysis with everything going on this week. That being said, the numbers are in, so let’s take a look at how the league fared.

USFL TV Ratings From Week 10:

New Jersey Generals vs. Pittsburgh Maulers (USA): 240,000
Memphis Showboats vs. Birmingham Stallions (FOX): 636,000
Houston Gamblers vs. New Orleans Breakers (FS1): 167,000
Michigan Panthers vs. Philadelphia Stars (FOX): 710,000

USFL TV Ratings Analysis

As always, there’s plenty to take into consideration here. For the most part, the numbers are pretty consistent with what we’ve seen from these respective networks in 2023.

To start with, USA’s number on Saturday afternoon makes sense. With a start time at 1pm ET on USA, early afternoon games typically aren’t too strong for the USFL. 240k could see plenty of improvement, but it’s not a bad audience by any means for this channel.

Memphis vs. Birmingham garnered 636,000 viewers, which is right in the median for what we’ve seen from FOX over the past two seasons. For a Birmingham game, it’s a bit low, but the team having already clinched the postseason could have played a role in that.

While Sunday’s game on FS1 is very low, there’s reasons for this. Firstly, it featured two non-hub teams: Houston and New Orleans. Usually, those outings tend to fare worse than teams who are playing in their home markets.

Secondly, the game was abruptly moved from 4pm to 1pm, due to weather complications. This was a last minute change, and one that many probably weren’t aware of. The USFL has been around average at best on cable, so this weekend was no surprise. Outside of week four’s matchup between Birmingham and Pittsburgh on FS1 which saw 545,000 viewers, the ratings have consistently been on the lower end.

Sunday night’s outing between the Philadelphia Stars and Michigan Panthers was an electrifying game, with an excellent atmosphere. While it would have been ideal to be in the 900-1M range for a matchup of this stature, FOX saw a respectable 710,000 viewers in primetime. The US Open may have played a factor, with almost 6M viewers which ran until about 8pm ET.

USFL TV Ratings From Week Ten, 2022:

New Jersey Generals vs. Philadelphia Stars (USA): 239,000
Birmingham Stallions vs. Tampa Bay Bandits (FOX): 649,000
Michigan Panthers vs. Pittsburgh Maulers (USA): 282,000
Houston Gamblers vs. New Orleans Breakers (FS1): 181,000

Across the board, these ratings are nearly identical to what we’re seeing in 2023 from the same channels in week ten. Consistency is great, but there is certainly room for growth.

Final Thoughts

Generally speaking, the USFL isn’t doing poorly in the TV ratings game by any means. Sports in the spring are an odd thing, with so many people adjusting to the warmer weather.

USFL week ten was quite entertaining from start to finish. Every single game had major playoff implications, with the final matchup coming down to the wire at Ford Field. The product itself on TV was excellent.

Good news for the USFL: the playoffs are set up for success, with two primetime slots. This should boost overall viewership, without a doubt.

June 24th | Pittsburgh Maulers vs. Michigan Panthers | 8pm ET, NBC
June 25th | Birmingham Stallions vs. New Orleans Breakers | 7pm ET, FOX

What are your thoughts on the USFL TV Ratings from week ten? Which games did you watch? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!

  1. I feel the USFL has been a very good product. I was a fan before they even started and to be honest, I was going to be a critical judge as I knew what I wanted the league to be. That stated they have not let me down. There are certain things that can be done to improve the product, but this is really good. 1. They advertised real football. I think they largely hit that. They have manipulated it a bit. The kickoff needs to be tweaked and they need to go back to kicking from the 25 or 30, but I would start with the 25 and they have to re-tweak the clock so that we get more plays in the game. That stated we as fans need to get the word out a bit more, especially if we are on the phone while watching a good game. If you feel they might enjoy it let them know to turn it on. We also need to have buy in from the press. I don’t even think the FOX affiliate in New York reports USFL games or at least the Generals. Lastly, we need teams west of Houston. To me including San Diego and Denver would put the USFL in all time zones and inform the rest of the country there is real football being played in the USFL. They likely won’t know, because we aren’t invested in them and they are not invested in us. Put a team in San Diego and California will be invested. You put them in that stadium, I feel they will be the best draw in the USFL, except for maybe Denver.

  2. James,

    First Ken’s comments on local media not having enough local media buy in in non-hubs is valid.

    But a couple other points per SpoilerTV – the US Open coverage ran till 10pm EST and did well late, that completely overlapped the Fox Sunday night game. Not SNB on ESPN also suffered. They had the 2 same teams (Boston v NYY) as the Sunday before and saw a 30% drop in ratings, USFL saw a 22% drop from week 9’s Sunday night game. The US Open having a west coast tournament allowed the game to go into Prime time.
    The FS1 last minute move was predictable as far back as prior weekend when thunderstorms were predicted – the game should have been moved a week earlier allowing time for fans to catch the action. Agreed USA did OK saturday but FS1 could have had 250-300k, the weak performance dropped FS1 avg to just under 300k for season.

    Playoff weekend:
    This week Fox has a Detroit Tigers-MLB game on opposite the Panthers? on Saturday night. No break for USFL there. Tigers 9 games below 500 hopefully Panthers get the local viewers. Pirates on at 4pm and lost 9 straight not an issue Saturday. Sunday night Baseball-ESPN LAD vs Houston, big game but West Coast should have less impact than NY/Boston.
    So hopefully better ratings…
    Saturday competition – ESPN College WS, Fox MLB (Detroit included), AEW
    Sunday competition – NBC Nascar Ally 400, ESPN SNB-MLB

    Also, I don’t have a twitter account, do you have an email.?

  3. Hi,
    I believe the playoff game between Pittsburgh and Michigan is being played in Canton.
    It would have been much better to play that game in Michigan. A big crown likely would have turned out in Michigan to see a home team in the playoffs. And I would have liked to reserve
    Canton for the Championship game. Big crowds make an exciting watch on TV and whenever
    possible the league has to get them, (even if you have to bend the rules a little to arrange it).
    Let’s hope the fans in Birmingham turn out stronger than they have been. In the old
    USFL Birmingham always had big attendance figures. Fans have to turn out in greater numbers, and this is the perfect game to do so.

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