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.
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.
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.