With the holiday weekend in full effect, the numbers are down a bit across the board. There’s plenty to break down from week seven, so let’s dive into it all.
USFL TV Ratings Analysis
To start with, the highest rated game of the weekend was – no surprise – the game that aired on FOX. With 703,000 tuning into Birmingham vs. New Orleans, FOX continues to stay relatively stable in the 600-800k range. This matchup had a 4pm ET start time, and wasn’t competing with anything major.
Let’s be clear: 161,000 isn’t an ideal number. However, there are some factors that played into this. Firstly, the game had a 9pm ET start time, on FS1. Not to mention, the USFL was directly competing with the NBA Playoffs, and Saturday night baseball on FOX. Over 10M people tuned into the competition, with Miami vs. Boston garnering 8.7M viewers.
USA Network hitting 251k is par for the course for the channel. As stated time and time again, USA has typically been the weakest network for the USFL across FOX & NBC platforms. It’s unfortunate that Memphis has been on USA Network two weeks in a row, as the team has been playing quite well – and, the fans have been showing up.
Sunday evening’s matchup between Michigan and New Jersey on FS1 was somewhat improved, as 274k tuned into that one. FS1 has been quite inconsistent this season. We’ve seen the network pull upwards of 500k viewers before, but when dealing with competition, it tends to perform poorly.
With three games on cable, it was tough to expect great TV ratings. Additionally, with it being Memorial Day weekend, plenty of folks were out and about, which likely led to a slower week in this area. It will be interesting to see how the league addresses its cable struggles, as USA and FS1 have been mediocre at best for most of 2023.
At the same time, something that isn’t mentioned enough is the free air-time that the USFL provides to FOX Sports. Games are constantly being replayed on FS1 and FS2, filling up space essentially for free. While the cable numbers aren’t up to par with what we’ve seen from past spring leagues, there’s plenty of room for growth as the USFL expands into each market. One has to wonder if we’re expecting too much out of the USFL in its early seasons, especially with the hub model they’ve been utilizing so far.
USFL TV Ratings From Week Seven, 2022:
New Jersey Generals vs. Tampa Bay Bandits (USA): 228,000 Michigan Panthers vs. New Orleans Breakers (FS1): 267,000 Birmingham Stallions vs. Pittsburgh Maulers (FOX): 830,000 Houston Gamblers vs. Philadelphia Stars: Peacock (N/A)
The ratings are once again, very consistent when compared to the similar metrics from a season ago. FOX is the only real difference, with Birmingham’s game bringing in 830k.
Generally speaking, it was an incredibly entertaining weekend of football in the USFL. All four games were decided by one score, with every matchup’s results shaking things up in the playoff picture.
After week seven, the #USFL playoff picture remains as heated as ever.
Nobody has clinched, while no teams have been eliminated, either. In fact, every 3-4 seed is just one game away from moving up to 1-2. The parity in the @USFL this season is remarkable. Exciting football.